“Will heavens fall if the man is released on ad interim bail?” Harish Salve asked in court.

Arnab Goswami inside a police van after his arrest in Mumbai
news Court Wednesday, November 11, 2020 - 12:32

Senior advocate Harish Salve on Wednesday asked for an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the abetment to suicide charges against Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, who is in jail in connection with the 2018 suicide of interior designer Anvay Naik. Salve made the submission before a vacation bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee, which was hearing the interim bail plea filed by Arnab.

Appearing for Arnab, senior advocate Harish Salve suggested that the case be transferred to the CBI. He went on to add that “the entire exercise is steeped root and branch in malafide.”

“The Magistrate should have released Arnab Goswami on bond but My Lord, that was not to be,” Salve told the bench. “In fact, I am applying, transfer this to the CBI and if he is guilty, send him to jail! Will heavens fall if the man is released on ad interim bail?” Salve asked in court.

Arnab had moved the Supreme Court a day after the Bombay High Court refused to grant interim bail to Goswami and two others in the case and had asked them to move the local court for relief. Goswami is currently lodged in Taloja jail. Goswami and two other accused were arrested by Alibaug police in Maharashtra's Raigad district 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 of the accused.

Earlier, the High Court, while rejecting the interim bail pleas of Goswami and two other accused Feroze Shaikh and Nitish Sarda, said, "No case has been made out for us (court) to exercise our extraordinary jurisdiction".

"The petitioners have the 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," it said on Monday.

Goswami, Shaikh and Sarda had last week filed petitions in the High Court challenging their "illegal arrest" in the case and seeking interim bail.

Apart from seeking the interim bail, the journalist and other accused had also sought a direction from the High Court for staying the investigation into the case and quashing the FIR against them.

Goswami was arrested on November 4 from his Lower Parel residence in Mumbai and taken to Alibaug in neighbouring Raigad district. He and the two other accused were later produced before a magistrate who refused to send them to police custody and remanded them in judicial custody till November 18.

Goswami was initially kept at a local school which is designated as a COVID-19 quarantine centre for the Alibaug prison. He was on Sunday shifted to the Taloja jail in Raigad district after allegedly being found using a mobile phone while in judicial custody.

With PTI inputs

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