Arnab moves Bombay HC to challenge arrest by Mumbai Police

Republic TV chief withdraws bail plea before Alibag court

Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami withdrew his bail plea before an Alibag court on Thursday, moved the Bombay High Court challenging his arrest by the Mumbai Police, and sought the quashing of the FIR against him in the 2018 abetment of suicide case.

A Division Bench of Justices S.S. Shinde and M.S. Karnik was hearing a petition filed by Mr. Goswami, currently in judicial custody, whether a habeas corpus should be issued directing authorities to produce him as he has been wrongfully detained and sought quashing of the FIR against him under Section 306 (abetment of suicide) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.

Senior advocate Aabad Ponda, representing Mr. Goswami, argued that the police have ignored the closure report, and without any judicial interference re-opened the case on its own. He said it was a “dead case and the arrest is illegal”, therefore Mr. Goswami should be granted interim bail as “every second is important”.

The court kept interrupting Mr. Ponda and saying that the matter could not be heard unless the complainant was heard. The petition by the original complainant was listed for Thursday. “That also needs to be heard,” the court said. The Bench also told Mr. Ponda to challenge the order of the Alibag court.

Mr. Ponda then said, “The informant never went to a court of law seeking reinvestigation after the closure. It is the police who suo moto revived the case.” After senior advocate Harish Salve agreed to amend his petition to implead the complainant in the case, the Bench directed the same to be done and adjourned the matter to be heard on November 6 at 3 p.m.

The petition mentioned, “It is shocking that a case that was decisively closed has been reopened with the sole purpose of misusing power, concocting facts and forcefully arresting the Petitioner in a prima facie act of revenge and vengeance for his news coverage which questioned those in power in the State of Maharashtra.”

Mr. Goswami was arrested on November 4 from his residence in Mumbai for allegedly abeting the suicide of interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud Naik, directors of Concorde Designs Private Limited, for not paying ₹83 lakh for the “Bombay Dyeing studio project”.

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