In a major setback to Republic TV Managing Director and anchor Arnab Goswami, the Bombay High Court on Monday rejected his interim bail plea and asked him to apply for regular bail before the trial court.
A division bench of Justice S.S. Shinde and Justice M.S. Karnik asked him to file for regular bail under Section 439 of the CrPC with the Alibaug court and directed that it should be decided on merits within four days, “without being influenced by observations” by the HC’s observations.
The division bench also posted Goswami’s writ petition, seeking quashing of the police FIR against him, for hearing on 10 December, and declined to grant his plea to stay the investigations in the case at this stage.
Goswami’s legal team has already filed its bail plea before the Alibaug court on Monday, a day after he was shifted from a school there to the Taloja Central Jail on 8 November.
The journalist was arrested on 4 November in connection with the double-suicide case of architect Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud Naik on 5 May 2018 for alleged non-payment of his dues by Arnab Goswami, and two others, Feroze Shaikh and Nitesh Sarda.
Naik’s wife Akshata Naik and their daughter Adnya Naik have filed a separate plea seeking a reinvestigation into the case or transferring it to an independent agency for probe.
In a related development, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari called up Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and expressed concerns over the security and health of Goswami. He urged the Maharashtra government to permit Goswami’s family to meet and speak with him, said an official spokesperson.
Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis urged the Bombay HC “to take suo moto cognizance” of the way in which the Uddhav Thackeray government in Maharashtra has “treated Goswami during the entire process of arrest to handling under custody, as alleged by him”.
WITH IANS INPUTS