Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami has been sent to 14-day judicial custody till November 18 by a court at Alibaug in Maharashtra, following his arrest on Wednesday morning in a 2018 abetment to suicide case.
Goswami was produced before the Alibaug Magistrate’s court in the afternoon, where it was alleged by his lawyer Gaurav Parkar that Goswami was manhandled by the police.
The court directed that editor of the leading news channel be taken for a medical check-up, following which he was brought back to court in the evening.
After inspecting the medical report, the court stated in its order that his allegations of physical assault were erroneous as only minor scratches were reported on Goswami’s hand.
The police had sought Goswami’s custody for 14 days, but the court held that there was no need for custodial interrogation.
According to reports, after the court declared judicial custody for Goswami, his lawyers Aabad Ponda and Gaurav Parkar filed a plea seeking bail.
“The court asked the police to file their reply and posted it for hearing tomorrow,” advocate Ponda said.
Goswami will be kept at a police station for the night as the proceedings went on till late, he added.
Along with Goswami, the police have apprehended two others in the case, namely Feroze Mohammed Shaikh and Nitesh Sarda. They were also produced in court and were sent to judicial custody till November 18.
“The probe in the case after it was reopened began on October 15 during which the statements of the deceased person Anvay Naik’s wife and daughter were recorded before a magistrate,” the police mentioned in their remand application.
Notice was issued to 28 people. Statements from 17 people, including Naik’s accountant and employees of his firm, have also been recorded by the police, it stated.
“We have received fresh and positive information from these statements which warrant further probe,” the police added.
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Reportedly, Naik, in his supposed suicide note have taken the name of Goswami and the other two accused, the police informed. It further added a report on the is been awaited from handwriting experts.
“The entire arrest is illegal. He (Goswami) has been arrested based on a completely illegal investigation. This is not a case where he should have been picked up in this manner as if he is a hardened criminal,” lawyer Ponda argued, opposing the remand application and stated that it is to target his client.
He further informed the court that the police had earlier filed a closure report in the case and this action of late is nothing but a smear campaign.
The prosecution, however, contended that Goswami and the other two accused did not comply with them during the probe.
“Goswami is the editor of a television news channel and can influence common people. The statements of employees of the company owned by Goswami that runs the channel need to be recorded. If the accused is released, then there is a chance of him influencing these witnesses,” the police stated.
But the court did not grant the request for police remand.
Lawyer of co-accused Sarda, Sushil Patil told the media that the court specified in its order that the police did not take consent from the court before reopening the case.
Goswami has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court to revoke the FIR in the case on November 2. It will be heard by a two-man division bench of Justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik on Thursday.
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