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Bombay HC to hear Arnab Goswami’s bail plea on Saturday

Arnab 2

MUMBAI, November 6: The Bombay high court on Friday heard the interim bail plea of Arnab Goswami in a suicide abetment case and said it will continue the hearing on Saturday noon at a special session.
Goswami, chief editor of Republic TV, will thus have to spend a third night in custody following his arrest for alleged abetment of suicide of an interior designer Anvay Naik who had worked on his office in Mumbai.
On Wednesday, a Chief Judicial Magistrate in Alibaug, Sunayna Pingale, had rejected a plea for his police custody and remanded him in 14 days’ judicial custody in the case against him and two others dating back to May 5, 2018.
The bench of Justices S S Shinde and M S karnik in its order on Friday said it heard Goswami’s senior counsels Harish Salve and Aabad Ponda “for considerable time” but as the court day came to a close at 5pm, it would
continue the hearing on Saturday.
The bench said the petitions of two other accused will also be heard on Saturday along with the petition filed by the original informant, Naik’s wife Akshata.
The HC noted that one intervention petition has also been filed by advocate Nilesh Ojha in the quashing petition filed by Goswami.
“There is consensus among all counsels that the hearing of all matters can be held on Saturday at noon,” said the bench after asking counsels representing all parties.
Goswami has filed a petition for “habeas corpus” alleging “illegal arrest” and sought quashing of the 2018 FIR and for a stay in the investigation that was restarted by the police.
Naik’s daughter has filed a petition seeking a transfer of the probe to crime branch and challenging the April 2019 closure of the case as being “arbitrary” and passed without hearing her family.
Salve and Ponda on Friday cited several Supreme Court judgments and the law on abetment of suicide under section 306 of Indian Penal Code, to argue that no offence was made out against him.
Abetment requires active intention and proximate relation and cause.
Salve said the latest judgment by the SC on October 1 this year by a bench headed by Justice N V Ramana said that “intention” cannot be assumed to be ostensibly present but has to be “visible and conspicuous” while setting aside conviction in a case of “abetment to suicide”.
Salve said that this was a case of liberty and pleaded the court to release Goswami.
Goswami’s lawyer read out parts of the magistrate’s order in Marathi and said that the magistrate has said that the case against Goswami is closed and the closure was accepted in 2019.
“As of today, he is in judicial custody,” said Salve, adding “let the police’s request of custody be decided after two weeks. Lordship has to balance …”. He added that the “problem” cannot be what he says on TV after release.
Salve said the state’s action against Goswami was an “abuse of power and mala fide”.
Meanwhile, senior counsel Devadatt Kamat, appearing for Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh, said his name was wrongly added as a party respondent by Goswami and ought to be deleted. He opposed the naming of Singh as a respondent in the petition. (Courtesy: ToI)

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