In the continuing malicious attempt to muzzle and intimidate Republic Media Network, the Mumbai Police has now issued a show-cause notice against Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami for raising questions in the Palghar lynching case and the shocking mega gathering amidst in COVID lockdown in Bandra, Mumbai. The summons as well as the show-cause notice issued to Arnab Goswami reeks of an OPENLY SPITEFUL and DEEPLY MOTIVATED witch hunt by the state government of Maharashtra against a free press that holds the political dispensation accountable.
The agenda of the Mumbai Police is crystal clear, given the fact that their latest show-cause notice stands in complete VIOLATION of the orders of the courts of law. It is in the public domain and well-documented thereof that the Honourable Supreme Court of India and Honourable Bombay High Court both passed orders on Arnab Goswami’s broadcast of the Palghar and Bandra incident cases. The legal facts must be reiterated so as to serve proof of the motivated agenda by the State machinery against Republic. The specific facts are as follows:
The Hon'ble Supreme Court in its judgment dated 19th May 2020 held that no other complaint can be initiated in respect of the Palghar broadcast of 21 April 2020. The Supreme Court in its order had observed “the need to ensure that the criminal process does not assume the character of a vexatious exercise by the institution of multifarious complaints founded on the same cause in multiple States” and extended protection “against any coercive steps arising out of and in relation to the” FIRs till a legal remedy was sought in the Bombay High Court.
The Hon'ble Bombay High Court judgment of 30th June 2020 suspended all criminal proceedings with respect to the FIRs registered against Arnab Goswami, based on the Palghar and Bandra news reports.
The Bombay High Court, staying the two FIRs filed by Mumbai Police against Arnab Goswami observed that “We cannot have the spectacle of a Damocles' sword hanging over the head of a journalist while conducting a public debate. India is now a mature democracy“ and stated that “ no coercive steps shall be taken against the petitioner”.
Therefore, the summons and show-cause notice issued to by the Executive Magistrate who is also the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mumbai (Worli) has NO LEGAL BASIS and is in contempt of court orders.
The extended and seemingly perennial agenda of the Mumbai Police against Republic Media Network serves as a shining example of not only the Mumbai Police’s complete disregard for the courts but also exemplifies the state’s MALICIOUS AGENDA against journalists asking probing questions in cases of lawlessness.
If the Mumbai Police and/or the State of Maharashtra is uncomfortable with the structure of this great democracy that ensures that the Fourth Pillar holds the servants of the people responsible, unfortunately, that isn’t a constitutional fabric they can change. The Media is ENSHRINED with the right to report and no government or Police force can trample upon that right-- no matter how shifty the truth may make them.
Republic Media Network officially states that we will leave no stone unturned to take every legal step available to fight the malicious agenda being executed by the Mumbai Police.