The Bombay High Court denied Republic TV editor in chief Arnab Goswami interim bail in connection with his arrest in a two-year-old alleged abetment to suicide case. The division bench observed that there was no extraordinary reason for the high court to interfere in the matter and that "alternate remedies" were available Goswami under the provisions of law.
"In the facts of the present case, no case is made out for release of the applicant – petitioner under extra-ordinary writ jurisdiction," the division bench of the high court said.
"In our opinion, the petitioner has an alternate and efficacious remedy under section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to apply for regular bail. At the time of concluding the hearing of Applications, we had made it clear that if the petitioner, if so advised, to apply for regular bail under section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure before the concerned Court, then, in that case, we have directed the concerned Court to decide the said application within four days from filing of the same," the high court order read.
The Maharashtra police on November 3 had arrested Goswami from his residence in Mumbai for allegedly abetting the suicide of interior designer Anvay Naik. The Alibaug court had remanded Goswami to judicial custody till November 18.
Goswami had filed a habeas corpus petition in the high court challenging his arrest and terming it illegal. Goswami further alleged that the probe against him was reopened "due to vendetta and personal animosity of the political dispensation in Maharashtra and the Commissioner of Mumbai Police based on the circulation of the video released by wife of Anvay Naik by the State Government's social media handles."
However, the high court heard arguments on the limited point of interim relief and has posted the matter for hearing on the plea for December 10. Earlier today, Goswami filed for bail before the Alibaug Court. As per high court directions, the trial court judge will have to decide the matter within four days.
Rights of the victim as important as that of accused: Bombay HC
On Naik's daughter Adnya's plea seeking a re-investigation of the "A Summary" report filed by Maharashtra police, the high court observed that, "the fact that the Magistrate did not give notice and opportunity to the first informant to file a protest petition before accepting the report, goes to the root of the matter".
"Therefore, the continuous persuasion of the State Government by the informant for redressal of her grievance since her two family members (Naik's mother Kumud also died by suicide) had committed suicide, and in the aforesaid background, the concerned Investigating Officer, after intimating the Magistrate, commences the further investigation, cannot be said to be irregular or illegal by any stretch of imagination", the high court said. "The victim's rights are equally important like the rights of the accused," the high court asserted rejecting Goswami's contention that there could not be further investigation.
Further investigation by police not illegal, HC
"Merely because the Magistrate has accepted the "A" summary submitted by the Investigating Officer, that would not mean and preclude the concerned Investigating Officer to invoke the provisions of section 173(8) of Code of Criminal Procedure to commence further investigation after giving intimation to the jurisdictional Magistrate," the high court observed accepting senior advocate Amit Desai's submissions on behalf of the state.
Relying on past judgments, the high court observed, the law does not mandate taking prior permission of Magistrate for further investigation. Furthermore, the past judgments hold that "carrying out further investigation even after filing of chargesheet, is a statutory right of the police".
"A distinction also exists between further investigation and reinvestigation. It is observed that whereas reinvestigation without prior permission is necessarily forbidden, further investigation is not," the 56-page order read. "We find that before carrying out the said investigation, the Magistrate was intimated about the further investigation. Thereafter, even the statements are recorded under section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure after obtaining permission from Chief Judicial Magistrate. In our opinion, the further investigation cannot be termed as illegal and without seeking permission of the Magistrate," it added.
Updated On: 2020-11-13T10:18:19+05:30