In a massive win for Team Republic, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday suspended all FIRs against Republic Media Network and Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami
In a massive win for Team Republic, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday suspended all FIRs against Republic Media Network and Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami filed by Mumbai Police over its coverage of the Palghar lynching incident and the gathering of migrant workers at Bandra railway station.
The High court said that there was nothing communal in this coverage of the incidents, which it notes in Paragraph 56 of the order:
“While the transcript is long, it is clear that it reported the killing of 2 Hindus. Petitioner had highlighted – the thrust of debate–pet had accused Congress and SG in particular of having a communal. Mindset. When the
Breaking : Bombay HC stays Mumbai police FIRs against Arnab Goswami observing that no prima facie case was made out against him. The Court orders that no coercive action should be taken against him. #ArnabGoswami @republic pic.twitter.com/GHpakh5Sc8
— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) June 30, 2020
— Sambit Patra (@sambitswaraj) June 30, 2020
broadcast is read as a whole, it is not communal. It cannot be said there was any offence of rioting of disruption of harmony between religious groups. Neither statement of Petitioner, nor his conduct can be said to be Deliberate
creating hatred- a view may be taken that Petitioners comments were quite sharp – SC observed that offence of defamation cannot be investigated.”
Para 67 adds, “Supreme Court has held that India’s freedom can rest safe as long as journalists can speak without threat of reprisal. Our democracy is mature and 70 years old. It cannot be said that mere mention of a hatred may lead to disharmony.”
Goswami has been booked in connection with a TV show on April 29, regarding his comments on migrants gathering outside Bandra railway station on April 14. Apart from this, multiple FIRs have been filed against him over a TV
show on April 21, in which he questioned Congress president Sonia Gandhi over the lynching of two sadhus and their driver in Palghar.
The HC on June 12 had extended protection from coercive action to Goswami until further orders and reserved its order on a criminal writ plea filed by Goswami. On June 9, HC had directed Goswami to appear before NM Joshi Marg
police station on June 10 for questioning. The court had also said no coercive action would be taken against Goswami though he would appear before police as directed.
The Supreme Court, on May 19, had rejected a petition by Goswami seeking quashing of the FIRs and transfer of the case to CBI and extended his protection from arrest for three more weeks. On June 12, Senior Counsels Harish Salve
and Milind Sathe, appearing for Goswami, read out each section under which Goswami was booked and opposed the allegation that Goswami’s comments on Palghar and Bandra station incidents in his TV programme were politically motivated.