Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami moves Bombay HC

Mumbai: Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami has filed a fresh application in Bombay High Court seeking order to restrain the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) at Raigad-Alibaug from taking cognizance in the chargesheet filed by the Raigad Police yesterday in Anvay Naik suicide case.

The application said that till the final hearing and disposal of the writ petition, all the further proceedings including investigation in relation to the chargesheet filed against him, be stayed.

The application was filed a day after police filed a chargesheet against Arnab Goswami and two others in the case.

The application said there is a fresh cause of action owing to the events given the “continued political witch-hunt” by the Maharashtra State machinery and the “wrongful and illegal filing of the chargesheet at the instance of the Home Minister” while the matter was listed to be heard.

It said the chargesheet has been filed against him when his own applications were in pendency with the Bombay High Court and served on the state government.

Arnab Goswami’s latest application said that the state was already served an application and was fully aware of the matter pending in High Court while filing the chargesheet.

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It said chargesheet was filed in the case where the top court scrutinised the matter and found no cause of action.

In the interim application filed via his legal counsel, Arnab Goswami said, “the chargesheet came to be filed deliberately despite the said IA pending circulation and hearing.”

It noted that the said interim application in good faith was served upon the Respondent No 1 on December 4, 2020 at 11:18 am.

“Shockingly, despite these applications being filed and served the Respondent No 2 filed a chargesheet in the case. The state after being served a copy of the said IA and being fully aware of the pendency of the matter, and further knowing that this Hon’ble Court was to decide a date on the matter, mischievously and maliciously filed a chargesheet disregarding the due process of law. This exposes the deep-rooted malafide intent with which the respondents are functioning,” the interim application said.

The application alleged that the state police tried to manipulate the due process of law by filing a chargesheet less than 12 hours, of being “served a copy of our praecipe” and it proves “the malafide, malicious capricious and intent” of the government of Maharashtra.

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It alleged that in utter violation of the observations of the highest court of the country about how no prima facie case has been established, within 8 days of the SC judgment, a chargesheet was hurriedly filed.

The top court had said, “a prima facie evaluation of the FIR does not establish the ingredients of the offence of abetment of suicide under Section 306 of the IPC”.

The interim application alleged that seven days after the declaration of the Home Minister of Maharashtra that a “strong chargesheet” will be filed, the police “followed the politically dictated script”.

It alleged that “the direction of the investigation, the nature of accusations and the filing of a chargesheet are a result of political instruction and not a fair and impartial investigation as is mandated by the rule of law.”

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