After the state government gave an assurance that it would not take any coercive action against Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami and other employees of ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd in the TRP fraud case till further hearing, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday accepted the statement and continued the earlier relief. The HC had given interim relief to Republic TV employees from coercive action till Wednesday, which it continued till January 6.
A division bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice M S Karnik also continued an interim relief through which it directed Mumbai Police to summon employees of Hansa Research Group, complainant in the case, for inquiry only two days a week for a “reasonable time” until the next hearing. The company had asked for the probe to be transferred to the CBI.
On Tuesday, while hearing the pleas by ARG Outlier and Goswami against the probe, the court was informed by senior counsel Aabad Ponda that they were apprehensive of Mumbai Police arresting Goswami and other employees and hence sought interim relief restraining Mumbai Police from doing so till the next hearing.
On Wednesday, senior counsel Kapil Sibal for the state government sought time to file response to the plea and on instructions from police officials submitted that earlier statement of not taking coercive steps can continue till January 6. However, the state government was free to continue the investigation, he submitted.
The court accepted Sibal’s statement and also permitted parties to the case to approach the court by giving notice to the other side, in case of any urgency.
In another case, the bench allowed Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami and other accused Feroze Sheikh to challenge cognizance of chargesheet taken by Alibaug magistrate in the 2018 interior designer Anvay Naik abetment to suicide case.
The court also directed the Alibaug court to expedite issuance of chargesheet to the petitioners and posted further hearing to January 6.