Sunday, December 5, 2021
HomeEditorialArnab may spend more nights in judicial custody

Arnab may spend more nights in judicial custody

Goswami was arrested on 4 November 2020 in a 2018 suicide case of Anvay Naik under Section 306 and Section 34 of IPC by Mumbai Police.

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People protesting against Arnab’s arrest thought that he will come out soon because the entire central government is condemning his arrest, in addition Amit Shah is central home Minister, known as master strategist may intervene and get him out of judicial custody but nothing of that sort happened. The Magistrate Court in Alibag recorded reasons for rejecting the request for police custody for Arnab Goswami. The court remanded him in judicial custody for 14 days. No one is above the law, though it is true Goswami’s channel often assumes that role since it has shown no regret in declaring people at fault long before any trial in a court of law. But the question to be asked, in not just the current case but in the sedition cases filed against journalists or the FIRs filed against journalists in Uttar Pradesh last month is what the remedy is to high-handed action by the state? If the Mumbai police has reopened the case involving an interior designer committing suicide in 2018—the allegation is the designer committed suicide because he had financial problems resulting from Goswami refusing to pay his dues police claims that they have found new evidence to prove the case. Arnab Goswami, through his counsel pleaded before the Bombay High Court at some length for release on interim bail after his arrest in a 2018 abetment of suicide case of an architect Anvay Naik who had worked on the interior design of his office in Mumbai. His counsel Aabad Ponda invoked the wide plenary power of the HC to do justice. The HC made it clear that it would be hearing “all parties”. Goswami had filed a ‘habeas corpus’ petition and sought to have the 2018 FIR quashed and probe stayed. Harish Salve and Ponda, both of whom appeared for Goswami, contended that his arrest was illegal and his liberty was at stake. Arnab might have not thought of this humiliation and fate for his arrogance, he is caged and might be repenting for the mistakes he has done so far. He should realise how difficult it is to take allegations and run media trials targeting one particular set of people. If he can pronounce someone guilty, why not be punished for his guilt?

Arnab has been accused of biased journalism in support of Bharatiya Janata Party including by uncritical reproduction of government narratives, avoiding criticism of figures from the ruling party (BJP), and presenting political opponents in a negative light. Also that month, parliamentarian Shashi Tharoor filed a civil defamation case in the Delhi High Court against Goswami and Republic TV in connection with the channel’s broadcast of news items from 8 to 13 May claiming his link in his wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death in 2014. Seeking the channel’s response, Justice Manmohan of the High Court said, “Bring down the rhetoric. You can put out your story; you can put out the facts. You cannot call him names. That is uncalled for.

On 25 August 2018, according to The Week news magazine, Arnab Goswami was lambasted on social media after a 30-second video clip of him purportedly calling “a group” the “most shameless bunch of Indians I have ever seen” went viral on social media while discussing blocking foreign aid destined for the flood hit state of Kerala. He further added the people who are criticising the government of India in this regard are ‘anti-national’, ‘paid agents’, and ‘shameless’. Keralites have showered the Facebook and Twitter accounts of Republic TV and Arnab Goswami with ridiculing comments in protest. After being fact-checked by several news portals, it was finally revealed that Goswami’s “most shameless bunch of Indians I have ever seen” comment did not refer to Keralites but he was actually targeting the “Tukde-Tukde Break India forces”, “Leftists” and some Twitter handles that spread fake news about the seven billion flood relief aid from the UAE. On 30 August 2018, News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) of India demanded Republic TV to tender a full-screen apology for use of multiple objectionable words to describe a bunch of people at a political rally, who were harassing one of his journalists. Republic TV “removed the video from its website and YouTube account” after receiving the complaint but refused to comply with the NBSA order, instead filing an appeal. In October 2019, Republic TV was again asked to broadcast a public apology, after the channel declined to cooperate in a case accusing Goswami of violating the standard prohibitions on racial and religious stereotyping and instead commented on NBSA to have engaged in “intense pseudo-judicial oversight”. Republic TV did not abide by the order; incidentally, Goswami was the convener of the committee that drafted the code, years back. In connection with the 2020 Palghar mob lynching case, several first information reports were filed against Goswami, regarding his alleged use of inflammatory language, as well as claims of misinformation, Confrontation between Arnab Goswami and Uddhav Thackeray. Two Republic TV staff and a taxi driver were arrested on 8 September 2020 for allegedly trespassing on a farmhouse of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in Raigad district. The issue has since snowballed into a confrontation between Arnab Goswami and the Uddhav Thackeray government. Arnab on 11 September 2020 issued a statement demanding the release of the journalists. He also alleged that the leaders of the Shiv Sena had threatened cable operators to “black out” Republic Bharat, Republic TV’s Hindi channel. Goswami was arrested on 4 November 2020 in a 2018 suicide case of Anvay Naik under Section 306 and Section 34 of IPC by Mumbai Police. Naik, in his suicide note had alleged nonpayment of dues from three individuals including Goswami, as the reason for ending his life. The HC said police submitted a status update on investigation in a sealed cover which it saw and returned. In all this, Arnab would spend one more night in judicial custody.


Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 14 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazine Beyond The News (international). She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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