Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami has moved an interim application before Bombay High Court, seeking a direction to the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Alibaug, to not take cognizance of the chargesheet filed by Raigad Police on Friday in the abetment to suicide case.
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 Alibaug in May 2018.
According to police, the Naiks died by suicide over alleged non-payment of dues by Goswami’s channel and the companies of Shaikh and Sarda.
On Thursday, Goswami had moved an urgent interim application before the HC and sought a stay on filing of a chargesheet and further proceedings in the abetment to suicide case. The Supreme Court had last month ordered the release of Goswami and other co-accused on interim bail on a bond of Rs 50,000 each.
Stating that he was arrested on November 4 with “mala fide intention”, and in an illegal manner, Goswami sought that the HC transfer the investigation to CBI or any other independent agency, in case the relief of stay is not granted.
On Friday, the Raigad police filed a 1,914-page chargesheet, invoking IPC Sections 306 (abetment of suicide) and 109 (abetment), among others.
Late on Friday, Goswami filed an application against the chargesheet through law firm Phoenix Legal, in a pending petition filed by him earlier, which had sought quashing of the FIR.
Goswami referred to the November 29 press conference by Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, wherein he had allegedly declared that a ‘strong chargesheet’ would be filed against Goswami ‘soon.’ These remarks were made despite an absolute, prima facie decision of the Supreme Court on his bail plea, that the FIR registered against him was frivolous/illegal, Goswami’s plea stated.
The petition said, “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.”
In light of this, Goswami sought directions to the magistrate to not take cognizance of the chargesheet and stay on further proceedings, including the investigation, until the HC decides his plea for quashing of the FIR, which is likely to be heard next on December 10.
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