New Delhi, Nov 11 – Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami has been granted bail by the Supreme Court in a 2018 abetment to suicide case. He and two others were arrested last week in connection with the suicide of architect Anvay Naik and his mother.
A two-judge bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee pulled up the Maharashtra government over the TV anchor’s arrest as they heard the petition through video conferencing.
The Supreme Court said Arnab Goswami must cooperate with the probe. The court also said the release of the three must not be delayed by two days and asked them to furnish bonds of ₹ 50,000.
The hearing comes two days after the Bombay High Court turned down Mr Goswami’s plea against his arrest and the reopening of the case.
“I do not watch the channel,” Justice Chandrachud had said earlier, but asserted that if constitutional courts did not interfere, “we are traveling the path of destruction undeniably”.
Mr Goswami’s lawyer Harish Salve had argued in the hearing: “Is Arnab Goswami a terrorist? Are there any murder charges on him? Why can’t he be given bail?”
The court had some tough words for the Maharashtra government over the arrest last Wednesday of the TV anchor.
According to the Mumbai Police, Anvay Naik, who designed the sets of Republic TV, had left a suicide note blaming Mr Goswami and two others for dues he alleged had not been paid to him.
The case was closed two years ago, with the police citing lack of evidence. It was reopened recently on the request of Mr Naik’s family, the police said.
In court, the police and the Maharashtra government said it was the duty of the state to protect the victim (Naiks).
The Supreme Court questioned when some dues were not paid would a suicide mean abetment. “Would it not be a travesty of justice if someone is denied bail for this,” said the judges.
Justice Chandrachud said: “If left to me, I do not watch the channel and you may differ in ideology, but if constitutional courts do not interfere today, we are traveling the path of destruction undeniably.”
He said governments should “ignore taunts on TV” as our democracy is “extraordinarily resilient”, referring to Mr Goswami’s criticism of the Maharashtra government.
“If state governments target individuals, they must realise there is an apex court to protect liberty of citizens… We must send a message today to the high courts as well. Please exercise your jurisdiction to uphold personal liberty,” the court said.
Source : NDTV