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Arnab Goswami Moves Bombay High Court Seeking Stay Of Investigation In Anvay Naik Abetment To Suicide Case And Transfer to CBI

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
3 Dec 2020 12:10 PM GMT
Arnab Goswami Moves Bombay High Court Seeking Stay Of Investigation In Anvay Naik Abetment To Suicide Case And Transfer to CBI
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Republic TV Chief Arnab Goswami has filed an urgent interim application before the Bombay High Court seeking a stay on filing of charge sheet and all further proceedings in the Anvay Nayak 2018 Abetment to suicide case. While maintaining that his arrest on the morning of November 4 was with a malafide intention and in a completely illegal manner, Goswami (represented by Phoenix Legal)...

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Republic TV Chief Arnab Goswami has filed an urgent interim application before the Bombay High Court seeking a stay on filing of charge sheet and all further proceedings in the Anvay Nayak 2018 Abetment to suicide case.

While maintaining that his arrest on the morning of November 4 was with a malafide intention and in a completely illegal manner, Goswami (represented by Phoenix Legal) has urged the Court to transfer the investigation of the case to CBI or any other independent agency, in case the relief of stay is not granted.

The matter is listed for hearing before the Bombay High Court on 10 December, 2020.

He has submitted that the malafide intent of the Maharashtra Government reflects from a recent press conference held by the Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on 29 November 2020, wherein it was publicly declared that a "strong chargesheet" would be filed against Arnab Goswami "soon".

Goswami has stated that the above remarks were made despite the explicit, unequivocal and absolute prima facie decision of the Supreme Court (in the order granting him bail) that the FIR registered against him is frivolous/ illegal.

A Prima Facie Evaluation Of FIR Does Not Disclose Offence Of Abetment To Suicide Against Arnab Goswami : Supreme Court

"It is pertinent to mention that this shocking premeditated political declaration by Mr. Anil Deshmukh came at a news conference 12 hours after the Hon'ble Supreme Court delivered the said judgement dated 27th November 2020. The said statement and the corresponding investigation at the behest of the Home Department, State of Maharashtra, not only establishes the malicious and malafide intent guiding the overall investigation in the present case but also exposes the complete subversion of the Supreme Court order dated 27th November 2020," the plea states.

It adds,

"It is also pertinent to mention that the Home Minister of Maharashtra was not only prejudging and publicly guiding the investigation in the case, but was also putting a timeline of progression to the case. It is thus clear that the entire investigation in the case is being puppeteered by a political machinery and is tainted and prescripted by the executive powers at play of the Respondents."

It is alleged that there is a "well- documented pattern of interference" in the present case on the part of the Home Department, Maharashtra state and the Home Minister Mr. Anil Deshmukh, inasmuch the reinvestigation was launched at the behest of Home Department's letter dated May 26. Attention is also drawn towards the Home Minister's remarks against Goswami on the floor of the Maharashtra Assembly on September 8, 2020.

"It must be noted that the Home Minister of Maharashtra made the comments on the floor of the Maharashtra assembly more than 1 month before the case was officially reopened. This only reiterates the fact that it is with pure political instruction from the ruling dispensation that the law and order machinery is at work," Goswami suggested.

Further it is pointed out that despite the categoric observations of CJM, Raigad that no permission/ order of the court was obtained prior to reinvestigating the said case, the Maharashtra Home Minister "in a blatantly false statements" claimed that the investigation was going on after getting permission from the court.

In this backdrop it is contended that the Respondents are in the process of filing a completely malicious and vengeful chargesheet against Goswami, with the malafide intension to harass him and to stifle the means of justice.

That apart, Goswami has sought to leave to amend his writ petition and add arguments against Home Department's letter dated May 26 for re-investigation. He has submitted that he came to know about the said letter only on November 6, and thus should be permitted to make necessary changes.

He has alleged that the communication dated 26th May, 2020 seeking 'reinvestigation' in the matter is without judicial sanction, ultavires and bad in law inasmuch as it was not open for the State to conduct a reinvestigation in the matter without, obtaining prior judicial sanction/ orders/ permission from the Chief Judical Magistrate at Alibaug.

It is further submitted that the Home Department for the State of Maharashtra or any other government authority does not have the power to direct/order a reinvestigation or fresh investigation in a case where an A summary report is filed and the same is accepted by the Chief Judicial Magistrate.

Goswami was arrested on the morning of November in a case registered by the Raigad Police in 2018 for allegedly abetting the suicide of a 52-year old interior designer named Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud Naik. He was remanded to judicial custody by CJM Alibag and was kept at a local school which has been designated as a COVID-19 centre for the Alibaug prison. Later, he was shifted to Taloja prison in Mumbai after the police alleged that Goswami used mobile phone in custody without permission.

He was released on Bail by the Supreme Court on November 11, while observing that prima facie it cannot be said that he was guilty of having abetted the suicide within the meaning of Section 306 of the IPC.

Before the Supreme Court, Goswami had urged that the investigation could not be reopened in the absence of an order for further investigation by the Magistrate. The Court had however observed in the passing that the Police has the power to investigate further in a case where 'A Summary' Report is filed.

"A Summary is filed in a case where there is offence, but police have not traced evidence. Does the A Summary deprive the police of the power to investigate? I cannot accept the position that police cannot investigate further in a case of A Summary," Justice Chandrachud had observed.

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