New Delhi: In a major development, the Supreme Court has ordered the release of Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami on bail.
A vacation bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee also granted interim bail to two others, Nitish Sarda and Parveen Rajesh Singh, on personal bond of Rs 50,000 each.
Justice Chandrachud said while pronouncing the order, "We hold HC was incorrect in not granting bail. Arnab Goswami and two other accused be released on interim bail on a bond of Rs 50,000. Commissioner of Police is directed to ensure the order is followed immediately. Bail granted to Arnab Goswami. Appellants are directed to cooperate in the investigation..let personal bond be executed before jail superintendent."
The apex court on Wednesday questioned the Maharashtra government over the 2018 abetment to suicide case against journalist Arnab Goswami and said that it would be a travesty of justice if personal liberty of a person is curtailed like this.
The bench said their release should not be delayed and the prison authorities should facilitate this.
The top court directed that Goswami, Sarda and Singh shall not tamper with evidence and cooperate in the probe in the case.
Goswami, Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV, had challenged the Bombay High Court's November 9 order refusing to grant him and two others interim bail in the case and asking them to move the trial court for relief.
Earlier, a division bench of the Bombay HC comprising Justice SS Shinde and MS Karnik directed the Sessions Court to decide on Arnab Goswami's bail plea within 4 days of his filing the petition, while it rejected the plea. The bench, however, clarified that its observations are prima facie in nature and will not apply to the application made by the Republic Media Network's Editor-in-Chief seeking regular bail. It held that the rejection of the interim bail plea will not be construed as an impediment to Arnab seeking alternative remedies.
The accused were arrested by Alibaug police in Maharashtra's Raigad district on November 4 in connection with the suicide of architect-interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother in 2018 over alleged non-payment of dues to them by the companies of the accused.
BJP National Vice-President, Baijayant Panda took to twitter and said that the apex court's decision 'upholds fundamental principles of law that were being blatantly flouted' by several state governments.
The Supreme Court order today granting bail to Arnab Goswami upholds fundamental principles of law that were being blatantly flouted by the Maharashtra police. It is a warning to wannabe tinpot dictators there & in Odisha, West Bengal & Kerala that they will be put in their place
— Baijayant Jay Panda (@PandaJay) November 11, 2020