The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted interim bail to Republic’s Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami and two others, who were arrested on November 4, in connection with the 2018 abetment to suicide case.
The marathon hearing was conducted through video-conferencing, spanning for more than five hours.
As the hearing began, the vacation bench of the Apex Court, headed by Justice DY Chandrachud and also comprising Justice Indira Banerjee, said they will only look at the petition, seeking quashing of the FIR against the journalist.
‘Before you begin, there is one aspect we look at in these matters where there is a challenge to the FIRs. The only prayer which survives is the quashing of FIR.
‘The Bombay High Court was in error in rejecting the application for grant of interim bail”, Justice Chandrachud said in the interim order, while also granting bail to other accused in the case, Nitish Sarda and Feroze Shaikh.
#ArnabIsBack | Republic Media Network is grateful to the Honourable Supreme Court of India for its order today that granted bail to our Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami. We are also deeply thankful & ever-indebted to Senior Advocate Harish Salve and the entire team at Phoenix Legal pic.twitter.com/5qqUMdru8Z— Republic (@republic) November 11, 2020
The Raigad police should ensure the compliance of the order of release of Arnab Goswami forthwith, it said, adding that the accused should execute a personal bond for an amount of Rs 50,000 for release on interim bail.
The bench directed the accused not to make any attempt to tamper with evidence and influence any witnesses.
Appearing for Goswami, senior lawyer Harish Salve said the power to re-investigate was wrongly used.
Goswami, along with the other accused, was arrested in connection with the 2018 suicide abetment case of designer Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud.
The designer, in a suicide note, had alleged non-payment of dues by firms of the accused. The three accused were later produced before a Magistrate, who refused to send them in police custody and remanded them in judicial custody till November 18.
The Republic TV editor was initially kept at a local school, which is designated as a COVID-19 quarantine centre for the Alibaug prison. He, however, was on Sunday shifted to the Taloja jail in Raigad district. (agency)