SC Grants Arnab Goswami Interim Bail
By: Sashwata Saha
Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami has been granted interim 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 interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother.
A two-judge bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee heard the petition over a video conference that pulled up the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government over the TV anchor's arrest.
"The victim is entitled to recourse as in proper and fair probe," the judges ruled.
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 Rs 50,000.
According to the Mumbai police, Anvay Naik, who designed the sets of the Republic TV studio, had left a suicide note blaming Goswami and two others -- Feroze Shaikh and Nitish Sarda -- for dues that he alleged had not been paid to him. The case was closed two years ago citing a lack of evidence. However, it was reopened recently on the request of Naik's family.
In court, the police and the Maharashtra government said it was the duty of the state to protect the victim.
The Supreme Court, on the other hand, questioned whether not paying up money amounted to abetting suicide and asked, "If tomorrow, a person commits suicide in Maharashtra and blames the government, then will the Chief Minister be arrested?"
"If state governments target individuals, they must realise there is an apex court to protect the 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.
The news comes a few hours after Goswami’s family members who hail from Guwahati approached Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal asking him to look into Goswami’s security. The Assamese Chief Minister spoke to his Maharashtra counterpart who assured him of the TV anchor’s security.
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