Arnab is Back: Arnab Goswami granted Interim bail by Supreme Court
After the Magistrate's Court granted him judicial custody, Mr. Goswami approached the Bombay High Court invoking the extra-ordinary writ jurisdiction of the Court.
The Supreme Court yesterday granted interim bail to Republic TV editor in chief Arnab Goswami. The two-judges vacation bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Indira Bannerjee directed the accused to be released after furnishing a bond of Rs. 50000. The Mumbai Police Commissioner was asked to comply with the order immediately.
Section 6 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 deals with the hierarchy of Criminal Courts. After the Magistrate’s Court granted him judicial custody, Mr. Goswami approached the Bombay High Court invoking the extra-ordinary writ jurisdiction of the Court. The Bombay High Court denied to grant him interim bail.
Mr. Goswami was supposed to follow the hierarchy of the Court and should have approached the Sessions Court for regular bail under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 but instead, he filed a habeas corpus petition and this was the ground for the High Court denying him interim bail. The High Court observed that there was an “alternative efficacious remedy” that could have been exhausted by the Petitioner before approaching the High Court.
Mr. Goswami then approached the Hon’ble Supreme Court by a Special Leave petition alleging threat to his life and to quash the FIR registered against him in the 2018 suicide case.
While hearing the bail plea, the bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee came down heavily on Maharashtra Government for its alleged vendetta driven action against the journalist. It also observed that the Bombay HC was incorrect in not granting bail.
Appearing for Mr. Goswami, senior Advocate Mr. Harish Salve laid down his case very effectively in front of the Bench and he proceeded to prove that Mr. Goswami had cleared all his dues to Naik’s Company Concorde Designs.
He also brought to notice to the Bench the remarks of the Alibaug Court’s CJM stating the arrest to be illegal and the chain of circumstantial evidence not being complete.
The Court then noted, “For Section 306 abetment, there needs to be actual incitement. If one owes money to another and they commit suicide, would it be abetment? Can you say that it is a case for custodial interrogation?”
It was further observed by Justice DY Chandrachud that, “We are assuming the allegations of FIR as gospel truth, but even then, is a case of Section 306 made out? In a matter like this, when some dues were not paid, would a suicide mean abetment? Would it not be a travesty of justice if someone is denied bail for this?”
The Court sent out a message that just because an FIR is instituted against a person for abetment of suicide for not clearing financial dues, his liberty cannot be chained by imprisonment.
The Supreme Court sent out a strong message to all the High Courts and State Governments that if they fail to withhold the personal liberty of the Citizens, the Apex Court is available to secure it. The Supreme Court is a protector and guarantor of all the rights of the citizens guaranteed by the Constitution of India.