The AIBA has said the Mumbai police violated protocol laid down by the Supreme Court while arresting Arnab, and that this amounts to contempt of court.

Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami who was arrested for allegedly abetting the suicide of a 53-year-old interior designer in 2018 arrives in a police van to be produced in a court at Alibaug in Raigad district Wednesday Nov 4 2020PTI
news Controversy Thursday, November 05, 2020 - 12:46

The All India Bar Association (AIBA) has written to Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, condemning the arrest of Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami. In a letter to the Governor, the Chairman of AIBA, Adish C Aggarwala has asked for his immediate release, calling his arrest a “blatant misuse of power” by the Maharashtra government. The letter also calls the “illegal” arrest an “attack on individual freedom and the fourth pillar of democracy.”

The letter also adds that the Mumbai police violated several rules laid down by the Supreme Court for arrests of individuals. The letter says that the police did not follow protocols like wearing name tags clearly indicating their name and designation, entering the complete details of police officials conducting interrogation in a register, preparing an arrest memo with the signature of at least one witness, the arrested person’s right to meet and consult a lawyer during his or her interrogation, among others.

The letter to the Governor states that these directions should be mandatorily followed, and by not doing so, the actions of the Mumbai police constitute contempt of court. “Refusal to do so results in the initiation of contempt of court proceedings. Departmental action should be initiated against Police officials who have violated above safeguards guaranteed to the citizens of the country,” the letter says.

Arnab Goswami was arrested on Wednesday morning under charges of abetment to suicide, in connection with the 2018 suicide of interior designer Anvay Naik. He was taken to the Alibaug police station in the neighbouring Raigad district. He was remanded to 14-day judicial custody by an Alibaug court that he was produced before.

Arnab Goswami had alleged that he was assaulted by the police while he was being arrested, a charge that was dismissed by the court. A second FIR has been registered against him, his wife Samyabrata Ray Goswami, his son and two other unknown persons for obstructing, verbally abusing and intimidating police officials when they had come to arrest him.

In the abetment to suicide case, Arnab has been booked under section 306 (abetment of suicide) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. This was in connection with the suicide of architect-interior designer Anvay Naik and Naik's mother, over alleged non-payment of dues by Republic TV in 2018. Arnab has moved the Bombay High Court seeking that this FIR be quashed. The High Court will be hearing that plea on Thursday afternoon.

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