Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV, Arnab Goswami is facing over a thousand cases across India over his show accused of derogatory remarks against Indian National Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, fomenting hatred,etc.
The Congress’ Gujarat unit aloe on Thursday filed 40 police complaints against Goswami accusing him of instigating communal hatred in the country and using derogatory remarks against the party chief Sonia Gandhi, in his TV show.
West Bengal Pradesh Congress President Somen Mitra filed a police complaint against him under various sections of the Indian Penal Code dealing with sedition, inciting religious groups with the intent to provoke animosity and causing breach of peace.
The pattern was followed in states by the Congressmen.
Tripura Pradesh Congress leader Pijush Kanti Biswas walking on the pavement informed about their case against Arnab, and demanded his immediate arrests.
The ‘journalist’ approached the apex court for protection from arrest which he got for three weeks.
The Supreme Court on Friday granted three weeks protection from arrest to Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami in connection with multiple FIRs against him in various states for alleged hate speeches and for defamation of Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
The apex court ordered transfer of case registered at Nagpur to Mumbai where investigations will continue in the case against Goswami, and probe in all other cases and complaints has been stayed. Also, there would be no investigation into fresh FIRs arising out of the April 21 show, and asked senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing Goswami, to club all FIRs and complaints, and bring them on record.
Senior advocate Vivek Tankha, representing Chhattisgarh governments, urged the court to issue directions asking for a restraint order on Goswami from making such statements. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Maharashtra government, suggested the Nagpur FIR could be transferred to Mumbai. The court observed that it intends to protect the petitioner from the day and permit him to move anticipatory bail application before the trial court or the High Court.
Sibal contended that the court must clarify that its order will have no bearing on the merits of the application.
The bench replied that Goswami cannot be subjected to proceedings in different parts of the country. The court will conduct further hearing on the matter after 8 weeks. The top court has also asked the Mumbai police to give protection to Republic TV office and the petitioner.
This TV faced defamation case earlier too. The journalist was the centre of a controversy with his claim of reporting Gujrat riot some time back. Another journalist Rajdeep Sardeshai and others said, he had not been there then. Critical reaction about this channel may not be very high while many accuse it of biasedly toeing BJP line in news shows.
( With inputs from IANS)