Bombay High Court refuses Arnab relief
Bombay High Court on Monday refused to grant interim bail to Republic TV managing director Arnab Goswami and two others in a 2018 abetment to suicide case, saying the accused have the remedy of seeking bail from the sessions court concerned.
A division bench of Justices S.S. Shinde and M.S. Karnik, rejecting the interim bail pleas of Goswami, Feroze Shaikh and Nitish Sarda, said: “No case has been made out for us (high court) to exercise our extraordinary jurisdiction.”
Goswami and the others were arrested by Alibaug police on November 4 in connection with the suicide of architect-interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother in 2018 over alleged non-payment of dues by companies owned by the accused. They were remanded in judicial custody till November 18 by the Alibaug magistrate’s court.
The high court on Monday said: “The petitioners have an alternate and efficacious remedy of seeking bail before the sessions court concerned. We have already noted earlier that if such bail plea is filed, then the sessions court shall decide the same in four days.”
The sessions court would hear and decide the appeals on merit, the bench said, making it clear the refusal of interim bail would not affect the chances of regular bail.
The sessions court is already hearing the police’s revision petition against the magistrate’s order denying them custody of the accused, who have been remanded in judicial custody instead.
Goswami’s lawyer Gaurav Parkar said the bail application, filed on Monday in the sessions court, would be taken up after the revision petition.
The high court said it did not believe that the reopening of the case, closed last year, was illegal.
The judges said: “In our opinion, further investigation ordered into the case by the Maharashtra government cannot be termed as illegal and without seeking permission of the magistrate.”
“There is no manner of doubt in our minds that the state government can always direct a further investigation to the police officers concerned, as done in the present case.”
Before carrying out the said investigation, the magistrate was intimated about the same, the court observed.
“The victim’s rights are equally important like the rights of the accused,” the court said. In the present case, the informant (Naik’s wife Akshata) was neither given any notice nor heard when the “A” Summary report (closure report) was submitted by the police, it noted.
“Even the order accepting the closure report was not communicated to the informant. The fact that the magistrate did not give notice and opportunity to the first informant to file a protest petition before accepting the report, goes to the root of the matter,” the high court said.
The bench said two members of a family have lost their lives and allegations are made against the three petitioners.
The court also said it cannot consider at this stage the submission made by Goswami’s counsel Harish Salve that the FIR does not disclose any offence against the petitioner. The petitions seeking quashing of the FIR have been posted for December 10.