Alibaug: Republic TV Editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami was remanded to 14 days judicial custody till Nov 18 by the Alibaug court. The journalist was arrested earlier on Wednesday for allegedly abetting suicide of an interior designer. The court gave the ruling late last night.
Arnab Goswami filed for bail and the court asked the investigation officer to file a reply. Goswami was earlier picked up by a Raigad police from his Mumbai home. He was seen pushed into the police van and he claimed that he was assaulted by the police before they took him away.
Once the team reached Alibaug, Goswami was produced in a local court, which directed the police to take him to the civil hospital for a medical check-up, after his lawyer alleged that the journalist was assaulted by police. Post the check-up, he was brought to the court for hearing on the remand.
Police arrested Arnab Goswami under sections 306 (abetment of suicide) and 34 (acts done by persons in furtherance of common intention) of IPC", a police official stated.
Goswami had moved High Court alleging that his arrest is illegal. The senior journalist had filed a petition before the Bombay High Court challenging his 'illegal arrest' in the 2018 case of abetment to suicide. He also sought squashing the FIR that is lodged against him by the Alibaug police. A division bench of Justices S S Shinde and M S Karnik will hear the plea today.
"He is wrongly and illegally arrested in a motivated, false and closed case. This is another attempt of political witch-hunt and vendetta politics against the petitioner and his channel. The arrest was conducted in blatant violation of the fundamental rights to life and personal liberty of the petitioner (Goswami) and his dignity. The petitioner and his son were assaulted and dragged into the police van when Goswami was arrested," the petition said.
As per the petition plea, the investigation of the case was closed long last year and a closure report was filed which was accepted by Chief Judicial Magistrate of the Alibaug court by an order dated April 16, 2019.
"It is shocking that a decisively closed case has been reopened with the sole purpose of misusing power, concocting facts and forcibly arresting the petitioner in a prime facie act of revenge and vengeance for his news coverage which questioned those in power in Maharashtra," the petition added. As per the petition, it claimed that the police recorded the statements of Mr. Goswami and two senior officials of Republic TV in Amy 2019 and after a thorough investigation into it, the case was closed. "The petitioner had at that time provided detailed documents to the police in relation to the business transactions with the deceased's company and had fully cooperated in the matter," the petition said.
The petition also added that Arnab Goswami's company ARG Outlier Pvt Ltd paid over 90% of the due amount due to the deceased Anvay Naiks Company Concorde Designs, as per the contract. "In July 2019, the entire balance amount due was transferred to the bank account of Naik's company but the amount returned because the account was inoperative," the petition said. It stated that the petitioner has been so far fully cooperating with the police and would continue doing so in future too.
Goswami is currently at a local school which has been designated as a COVID-19 centre for the Alibaug prison.
The architect and his mother committed suicide in 2018 over alleged non-payment of dues by Republic TV.