Mumbai/New Delhi:Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami was on Wednesday morning arrested by the Mumbai Police from his residence in Mumbai in a two-year-old suicide case of an interior designer and sent to 14 days of judicial custody by a local court.
The police produced Goswami in Alibaug court in the evening. After a nearly six-hour-long hearing, the court ordered judicial custody till November 18. The court rejected the bail plea of the accused.
As per reports, Goswami will approach Bombay High Court on Thursday morning with a plea to quash the FIR registered against him.
In May 2018, Anvay Naik, an interior designer as well as an architect, ended his life along with his mother Kumud Naik, allegedly over non-payments of Rs 5.40 crore dues of his company -- Concorde Designs Pvt Ltd-- by Goswami and two others.As per the Naik's daughter, Adnya, his father had mentioned about the three accused in his suicide letter.
The police reached Goswami's Lower Parel house this morning and later took him in a police van to Alibaug PS were an FIR has been registered against the accused.
As per the police, Goswami has been booked under Indian Penal Code section 306 (abetment of suicide) and 34 (acts done by persons in furtherance of common intention).However, when the 47-year-old anchor was pushed inside the police van, he was heard alleging that police has 'assaulted' him.
The other two accused Feroz Shaikh of IcastX/Skimedia and Niteish Sarda of Smartworks, have already been arrested, police said.In the evening, another FIR was lodged against Goswami for resisting police officials who came to arrest him.
The fresh FIR was registered in the Alibaug PS under the IPC section 353 (assault), 504 (intentionally insulting), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (already mentioned).
Gosmami's lawyer Gaurav Parker, opposing the remand, told the court that his client was assaulted by two police officials and his house was cordoned off for nearly three hours. Parker showed an injury in the left hand of Goswami to prove his point.
In a parallel development, Supreme Court lawyer Siddharth Acharya has written a letter to Chief Justice of India SA Bobde to take up the matter as suo motu cognizance.
In the letter, Acharya wrote that Goswami was neither served a prior summon nor allowed to access to his legal team. The arrest is a clear case of political vendetta and against the Freedom of Press, the letter states.
Meanwhile, Editors Guild of India condemned Goswami's arrest, terming it an extremely distressing move.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar and Bharatiya Janata Party national president J P Nadda compared the incident to "Emergency" imposed during late prime minister Indira Gandhi's rule.
However, the Indian National Congress countered the allegations by the BJP saying why the latter was silent when independent journalists were arrested.
"Where was the BJP when Prashant Kanojia and Supriya Sharma were booked by the Uttar Pradesh police," Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate asked during a presser in Mumbai.
The Shiv Sena dismissed the allegations of political vendetta. Sena leader Sanjay Raut told reporters the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government has nothing to do with the arrest.
In May this year, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh ordered a fresh probe in the suicide case as the deceased daughter claimed that Alibaug police had not investigated the alleged non-payment of dues from Goswami''s channel.
However, Republic TV had in a statement said the entire amount owed to Concorde had been paid.(UNI)