The Rajasthan High Court has granted interim relief from arrest to news anchor Arnab Goswami in an FIR registered against him based on the complaint by Congress Spokesperson Pawan Khera taking objections regarding broadcast of certain news on Republic Bharat regarding alleged temple demolition in Rajgarh.
Essentially, the FIR was registered at Ambamata Police Station, Udaipur on 17.05.2022 against Arnab Goswami along with other persons of Republic Bharat under Sections 153A, 295A, 120B, 499, 501, 504 & 505 of the Indian Penal Code and other relevant sections of Information Technology Act, 200 read with N.S.A. Act. The FIR was registered pursuant to the news reporting conducted by Republic Bharat with regards to demolition of temple at Rajasthan. In this regard, Arnab Goswami has moved to the High Court seeking quashing of the aforesaid FIR.
The matter was mentioned before the bench today by Sr. Adv. Mahesh Jethmalani. Consequently, Justice Dinesh Mehta, observed,
"Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case and considering that the omnibus allegations levelled in the FIR relate to an attempt to de-establish the State Government, this Court is of the view that the immediate and urgent interrogation of the petitioner is not required, particularly when neither details of programme nor any specific incident have been indicated in the written information."
The court ordered that till the next date of hearing, the Investigating Officer shall not proceed in furtherance of the FIR in question and nor shall he arrest the petitioner.
Moreover, the court granted two days' time to the Public Prosecutor to complete his instructions.
Appearing for the petitioner, Sr. Adv. Mahesh Jethmalani submitted that the FIR which has been registered against the petitioner on 17.05.2022 is politically motivated and the same has been lodged in order to harass the petitioner, who is a reputed T.V. Anchor and to get political clout by the complainant, who claims himself to be a Spokesperson of All India Congress Committee.
He also submitted that petitioner apprehends that if immediate intervention is not granted by this Court, then the police may arrest the petitioner any time.
The court has now listed the matter on Monday i.e. 23.05.2022.
The counsels for the petitioner include Sr. Adv. Mahesh Jethmalani assisted by Adv. Muktesh Maheshwari. Public Prosecutor Gaurav Singh appeared on behalf of the state.
Case Title: Arnab Goswami v. State of Rajasthan
Case No.: CRLMP / 3015 / 2022" target="_blank">Click here to Read Order