In a significant development, Supreme Court has granted interim bail to Republic Media Network’s editor in chief Arnab Goswami who was arrested over seven days ago amid the witch-hunt against the Network. His release has sparked a wave of celebration across the country with people taking to the streets in numerous cities.
Reacting on the SC judgment, BJP National Spokesperson Sambit Patra has also heaved a sigh of relief as the seven days ordeal came to an end.
आख़िर आज अच्छी खबर आ ही गयी ।— Sambit Patra (@sambitswaraj) November 11, 2020
The Raigad Police had illegally arrested Arnab Goswami after reopening an abetment to suicide case that was closed in April 2019. The State Police reopened the case without prior permission of the court of law.
After a marathon hearing, the Supreme court directed that the Raigad police should ensure the compliance of the order of release of Arnab Goswami forthwith. A two-judge bench comprising of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Indira Banerjee highlighted the importance of personal liberty and also sent out a message to the High Courts across the country. During the hearing, Justice Chandrachud pointed out that a case of abetment cannot be made if active incitement and encouragement are not involved.
The SC asked, "If money is owed to a person, is that a case of Abetment to suicide?" Highlighting personal liberty, the top Court further asked, "Assuming the FIR is the gospel truth and that's a matter of investigation but is not paying up money Abetment to suicide? It will be a Travesty of justice if bail is not granted while FIR is pending?"
When the lawyers at the opposite side argued, that the top court shouldn't interfere as the matter is pending in the sessions court, the SC bench said, "Technicality cannot be a ground to deny someone personal liberty. This is not a case of terrorism."
In a major message to the High Courts across the country, Justice Chandrachud said, "We must send a message today to the High Courts as well. Please exercise your jurisdiction to uphold personal liberty! Case after case, High courts are denying personal liberty. If we as a constitutional court do not lay down law and protect liberty then who will?" Moreover, the Court observed that the Bombay High Court wrote a 50+ page order but has not dealt with the ingredients of the offence. Supreme Court's message to the High Court was in the context of the latter's rejection of the bail plea while directing the Sessions Court on Monday to decide on Arnab Goswami's bail plea within 4 days of his filing the petition.