The Bombay High Court will hear a petition filed by Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami to quash the 2018 FIR, filed by Raigad police, for alleged abetment of suicide, today. The court will also hear another petition for Arnab’s bail.
Arnab was produced in the Alibag court on Wednesday after his arrest and was sent to 14-day judicial custody until November 18.
The Raigad police had sought a 14-days’ remand, on the basis that they needed to question Goswami, and he needed to be kept in custody as he is an ‘influential person’ who might try to alter the investigation.
The Mumbai Police had arrested Arnab in connection to the suicide case filed against him and Feroz Shaikh of IcastX and Nitish Sarda of Smartworks in 2018. Feroz and Nitesh, were also arrested.
For Anvay Naik’s family, the arrest of Republic TV editor and the two others named in his suicide note is the first step towards justice. The Mumbai police had allegedly closed the case then under pressure.
Anvay was the managing director of Concorde Designs, a Mumbai-based architectural and interior designing firm. His mother, Kumud, was on the board of directors of the firm. In Anvay’s suicide note, he had accused Republic TV of not paying him his dues after designing the channel’s interiors.
News agency ANI quoted Arnab accusing the Mumbai Police of assaulting his mother-in-law, father-in-law, son and wife.
A 13-minute video captured during the arrest shows policemen pleading with the editor to cooperate as he says he has been assaulted. The police eventually dragged him away and have charged him of assaulting a woman officer. He has been sent to 14 days of judicial custody and a court rejected his allegation of assault by cops.
Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in a tweet said that a fresh probe was ordered after Anvay’s daughter Adnya approached him regarding the case. “Adnya Naik had complained to me that Alibaug Police had not investigated non-payment of dues from Arnab Goswami’s Republic, which drove her entrepreneur father and grandmom to suicide in May 2018,” he tweeted. “I’ve ordered a CID re-investigation into the case.”
Adnya said to reporters that her mother and her have done everything from starting a YouTube channel, writing to the Prime Minister’ Office to approaching Arnab himself, in order to get justice.
“Right from the day of the suicide, there has been pressure on us to not get an FIR lodged. The police then told us that powerful people were involved and we should not get an FIR registered. However, when we insisted, an FIR was registered,” Adnya said. She also claimed that they had been threatened and warned against going to the police.
In a statement released by Republic TV, the channel claimed that all relevant dues – amounting to 90 per cent of the total value of the contract – had been paid.
The channel also said that it had made attempts to make a full and final settlement with Anvay’s wife Akshata and daughter but had not received a response from them.