Arrest Of Arnab Goswami & Media V/S State

Arrest Of Arnab Goswami & Media V/S State

With Arnab Goswami of Republic being denied bail, let us look at the beginning of his tussle with the Maharashtra Government.

Crux of the Matter

Bail Rejected
Bombay High Court rejected the bail application of Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV. Goswami and 2 others were arrested on 4 November and was put in judicial custody till 18 November.

Goswami was arrested for alleged abetment of the suicide of Anvay Naik, an interior designer. His arrest was declared “prima facie illegal” by the Court.

Prison Shift
Goswami was moved to Taloja jail after he was allegedly found using mobile phone in judicial custody. Several terrorists have been imprisoned in Taloja jail, with the list including Abu Salem, aides of Ajmal Kasab, etc.

Arnab v/s Maharashtra Timeline

Palghar Lynching

  • April 2020: 2 Sadhus and their driver were lynched in Palghar – allegedly on fake rumours of child kidnapping.
  • Goswami claimed “woh (Sonia Gandhi) khush hai ki santon ko maara gaya, jahan pe unki sarkar hai” (Sonia Gandhi is glad over murder of Sadhus in her regime).
  • FIR was filed against Goswami for comments on Gandhi and alleged attempts to “communalize” the incident.
  • Controversy as Goswami was questioned for over 12 hours amidst nationwide lockdown.

Bollywood Tussle

  • Legal notice was sent to Goswami from Shiv Sena in August.
  • He was accused of allegedly connecting CM Uddhav Thackeray and other members to the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
  • September: 2 Republic journalists were arrested for allegedly “trespassing” on Uddhav Thackeray’s farmhouse.
  • October: Pradeep Bhandari (Republic consulting editor) alleged arrest after his coverage of demolition of Kangana Ranaut’s office by BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation).

TRP Scam

  • Republic was named as accused in the ‘TRP scam’.
  • Republic claimed that the complaint of ‘Hansa’ research didn’t mention Republic and mentioned India Today instead.
  • Republic then claimed that an FIR was filed against the “entire editorial team of the network”.

Suicide Abetment Case

  • 2018: Architect-interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud Naik died by alleged suicide.
  • Reported suicide over alleged “non-payment” of dues by Arnab Goswami.
  • Suicide note mentioned that Goswami’s Republic, Feroz Shaikh of IcastX/Skimedia and Niteish Sarda of Smartwork owed him ₹83 lakh, ₹4 crore and ₹55 lakh respectively (total ₹5.4 crores).
  • Though the case was closed in 2019, it has been reopened in 2020 in which Goswami, Shaikh, and Sarda were arrested recently.
  • Republic claimed to have paid 90% of all dues 2 years ago and alleged “repeated attempts” for settlement.
  • They also claimed to have transferred the dues to the bank account of Anvay’s company in July 2019, which were returned due to the “inoperative” status of the account.
  • India ranked 142nd in the Press Freedom Index in 2020. Norway and Finland ranked 1st and 2nd respectively in the list.
  • Arnab Goswami has a Y level of security that includes round-the-clock protection from around 11 personnel and 1 or 2 armed commandos for close proximity protection.
  • Arnab’s father, Manoranjan Goswami is a retired Indian Army officer and a BJP member, who has contested as a BJP candidate in the general election, from Guwahati.
  • Prasar Bharti is India’s largest public broadcasting agency which comprises Doordarshan and All India Radio (AIR).