The Raigad Police has sought arrest warrants against the three men accused of abetting the suicide of interior designer Anvay Naik, including Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, after they failed to appear before a court in Alibag on Thursday.
The court had directed Goswami, Feroz Shaikh of IcastX/Skimedia and Niteish Sarda of Smartworks, to appear before it after the police filed a chargesheet against them last month.
Goswami, through his lawyer, cited the Covid-19 pandemic and told the court that he cannot appear before it as he is in Delhi. The two others also cited the pandemic for their inability to appear and filed exemption applications.
Special Public Prosecutor Pradip Gharat, representing the police, said that since it is a criminal trial, their presence is necessary to proceed. He went on to file an application seeking arrest warrants against the three.
The court, however, considered the standard operating procedures in place, which state that adverse orders cannot be passed against parties for non-appearance in such proceedings due to the pandemic. It allowed exemption applications of the accused and adjourned the hearing on the prosecution’s warrant application to next month.
The Raigad Police, in its 1,914-page chargesheet filed last month, had dropped the charge that indicated that the three accused together conspired to drive Naik to suicide in April 2018 while maintaining charges under Section 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code.
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