After days of hearing arguments, the Bombay High Court has rejected the interim bail application of Arnab Goswami in the 2018 abetment to suicide case. The HC division bench comprising of Justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik, held a special sitting at 3 pm on Monday despite the High Court being closed for the Diwali holidays. The HC had rejected Arnab’s interim bail plea in the habeas corpus petition filed by the Republic TV Managing Director and two others.
The bench had asked Arnab’s lawyers Harish Salve and Abad Ponda why they hadn’t considered the Sessions Court for bail application. The HC stated that the pendency of a case in the High Court does not impede seeking bail under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure before the concerned court. The HC added that if such an application is made then the concerned court should decide on it within four days of applying bail.
Following this, Arnab has moved a regular bail application before the Alibaug Sessions Court seeking his release from judicial custody. Meanwhile, the Raigad police challenged the judicial custody citing that the Alibaug Chief Judicial Magistrate had failed in considering the prosecution’s submission.
On Sunday, police shifted Arnab to Taloja Central Jail in Mumbai from Alibaug Government School where he had been under judicial custody. During the shift, Arnab claimed that there was a threat to his life and that he had been assaulted. “My life is under threat. I am not being allowed to speak to my lawyers. I was pushed and assaulted this morning. They woke me up at 6 in the morning and they said they won’t let me speak to my lawyers,” Arnab was heard shouted from the truck in which he was being transferred. The police alleged that shift was due to Arnab using a mobile phone while under judicial custody.
Mumbai Police had arrested Arnab on November 4 in connection with abetment to suicide case filed against him and two others in 2018. Investigations in the case, which involve the death of Anvay Naik and his mother, Kumud Naik, was recently reopened.
Anvay, an interior designer and his mother, had died by suicide in 2018. A suicide note, allegedly written by Naik, claimed that Arnab and two others owed him Rs 5.4 crore for the interior services his company Concorde Designs Private Limited rendered during the construction of Republic TV studio. The letter states that he was forced to take the extreme step as a result of this. The Alibaug Police had registered a case of abetment to suicide, which was supposedly closed by the Raigad police in 2019.