The Bombay High Court, on Friday, March 05, 2021 granted interim protection to Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, exempting him from personally appearing before the Alibaug magistrate in relation to interior designer Anvay Naik’s abetment to suicide case till April 16. Goswami was earlier asked to appear before the court on March 10. The CJM had also refused to give exemption from appearance.
Goswami had sought exemption till his petition to quash the FIR and chargesheet against him in the case is decided as he apprehended detention and “false implication” in unknown case. The Supreme Court had then on November 11, last year, ordered the release of Goswami and other co-accused on interim bail on a bond of Rs 50,000 each.
Senior Advocate Sanjog Parab, appearing for Goswami, told a division bench comprising of Justice S S Shinde and Justice Manish Pitale that his client has been directed to appear before the chief judicial magistrate at Alibaug on March 10 for committal of the trial in the case to a sessions court.
Parab mentioned that in the midst of the Covid-19 situation in Maharashtra, it would be unlikely for Goswami to attend court at Alibaug in person. The magistrate had earlier exempted Goswami from personal appearance on two occasions. The advocates argued that there should be no compulsion for Goswami to appear before the court on March 10 and then the matter can be fixed on any convenient date for the hearing.
Quoting “Since we are seized of the matter, we grant the petitioner (Goswami) interim protection with regard to exemption from appearance till April 16 when we will hear the plea further,” the bench adjourned till April 16 hearing on pleas filed by Goswami and the two others challenging proceedings and chargesheet filed in the case and further assured the court that no coercive action will be taken against Goswami and other employees of ARG Outlier Media Private Limited, which runs Republic Media Network, contending that it will hear the case in physical mode from April 16 to expedite the proceedings.