Updated: March 5, 2021 3:51:00 pm
The Bombay High Court Friday extended till March 16 the interim protection granted to Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami and exempted him from appearing before the Alibaug Magistrate in an abetment to suicide case registered against him. Goswami was earlier asked to appear on March 10.
Goswami and two others, Feroze Shaikh and Nitish Sarda, were arrested on November 4 after the police reopened a case involving the death of interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud Naik at their home in Alibag in May 2018. According to the police, the Naiks died by suicide over alleged non-payment of dues by Goswami’s channel and the companies of Shaikh and Sarda.
The Supreme Court had on November 11 ordered the release of Goswami and other co-accused on interim bail on a bond of Rs 50,000 each in the case.
A division bench of Justices S S Shinde and Manish Pitale then adjourned the hearing on pleas filed by Goswami and other two accused challenging proceedings and chargesheet filed in abetment to suicide case to April 16.
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The Court granted them relief after it was assured that the applicants were willing to co-operate with the probe, but due to the Covid-19 situation in Maharashtra, it would not be possible for Goswami to attend court at Alibaug in person. The magistrate had earlier exempted Goswami from his personal appearance on two occasions, however, he was asked to appear on March 10.
Justice Shinde said that the Court has granted interim protection from appearance as prayed by Goswami’s lawyers and would hear the pleas next month.
Moreover, after the state government gave assurance of no coercive action in the alleged TRP fraud case till March 16 against Goswami and other employees of ARG Outlier Media Pv Ltd, which runs Republic TV and other channels as referred in chargesheet, the bench extended its interim relief from arrest.
In view of voluminous documents being filed by the parties in the case, the court said that it will hear the alleged TRP fraud matters through the physical hearing mode from March 16 so as to expedite the proceedings.
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