The Delhi High Court Wednesday rejected a plea filed by news channel Republic TV and its editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami against a trial court order to register an FIR on a criminal complaint made by Congress leader and MP Shashi Tharoor.
Tharoor had accused the channel and Goswami of committing theft of confidential documents pertaining to the investigation into the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar, and the alleged hacking of his email account.
The trial court had directed the Station House Officer to register an FIR and investigate.
Challenging the magisterial court’s order, the channel and Goswami approached the High Court, on which Justice Najmi Waziri passed the order after a preliminary objection to the maintainability of the writ petition was raised by the Delhi Police counsel.
Standing Counsel (criminal) Rahul Mehra submitted that the HC’s jurisdiction cannot be invoked when an “equally effective remedy is available”. He contended that the magisterial court’s order was subject to revision, which could have been filed before the sessions judge.
On Goswami’s plea on granting protection from coercive action, the Delhi Police counsel submitted that he should file an anticipatory bail plea instead.
Appearing for Goswami, senior advocate Sandeep Sethi argued that there was no prima facie case of theft as the documents were never in Tharoor’s legal possession. Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa and advocate Gaurav Gupta also opposed the challenge petition.
After hearing the arguments, Justice Waziri dismissed the petition for not being maintainable.