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Supreme Court hearing bail plea of Arnab Goswami: The case

Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami’s petition challenging Bombay High Court order which refused to grant him interim bail in the 2018 abetment to suicide case will be heard by the Supreme Court on 11 November.

A vacation bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee is likely to hear the case at 10:30 AM. The high court had on 9 November refused to grant interim bail to Goswami and two others and asked them to move to the local court.

In his plea to the apex court filed through lawyer Nirnimesh Dubey, Goswami stated that “the balance of convenience is in favour of the petitioner and he would suffer irreparable harm and injury” if the high court order is not stayed during the pendency of the present petition, according to news agency. Goswami, who is currently lodged in Navi Mumbai’s Taloja jail, called his arrest and “illegal” detention a violation of his right to life and personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, 1950.

Apart from the Maharashtra government, Goswami has made the Centre, the Alibaug police station SHO, Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh and Akshyata Anvay Naik as parties to his appeal.

The 47-year-old television presenter filed a bail plea also in the sessions court after the Bombay high court order.

Shortly after the matter was listed for 11 November morning, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president objected to the “extraordinary” listing of the Goswani’s petition and questioned the top court’s secretary general to disclose whether any order or direction to list the matter was issued by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) in this regard.

Goswami, along with two other accused Feroz Shaikh and Nitesh Sarda, was arrested on 4 November in connection with the 2018 suicide abetment case of designer Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud. The designer, in a suicide note, had alleged non-payment of dues by firms of the accused. The three accused were later produced before a magistrate who refused to send them in police custody and remanded them in judicial custody till 18 November.

The Republic TV editor was initially kept at a local school which is designated as a COVID-19 quarantine centre for the Alibaug prison. He, however, was on 8 November shifted to the Taloja jail in Raigad district after allegedly being found using a mobile phone while in judicial custody.

Pradeep Bhandari, a consulting editor with Republic news channel, on 8 November wrote to CJI SA Bobde urging him to take cognizance of shifting of Goswami to Taloja Jail to keep him allegedly with “hardened” and “underworld” criminals and provide “some sort of safety” to him. He said Goswami has said that “his life is in danger”.

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