The Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday asked Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami to respond in 10 days to an application seeking to investigate him for promoting enmity between religious groups, Live Law reported.
The state also wants Goswami’s interim protection withdrawn.
In May, a first information report was registered at Ambamata police station in Udaipur against Goswami based on a complaint by Congress media department head Pawan Khera.
Goswami has been accused of broadcasting a show in April on Republic Bharat, the Hindi edition of Republic TV, regarding the demolition of a temple in Alwar district’s Rajgarh.
Two temples and some shops were razed by the civic authorities on April 17, PTI reported. According to NDTV, the demolition drive was carried out to make way for a road.
Rajgarh is a BJP-run municipality in Congress-ruled Rajasthan.
Goswami, along with others, is booked under Indian Penal Code sections 153A (promoting enmity among religious groups), 295A (malicious acts to outrage religious feelings), 120B (party to a criminal conspiracy), 499 (defamation), 501 (printing or engraving defamatory matter) and 505 (public mischief). He was also charged under the Information Technology Act.
Goswami in May sought to quash the first information report. Senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, representing Goswami, said that the complaint was politically motivated, Live Law reported.
On May 20, the Rajasthan High Court granted Goswami interim protection till the next date of hearing, Live Law reported.
“Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case and considering that the omnibus allegations levelled in the FIR relate to an attempt to de-establish the state government, this court is of the view that the immediate and urgent interrogation of the petitioner is not required, particularly when neither details of the programme nor any specific incident have been indicated in the written information,” Justice Dinesh Mehta had observed.
On Tuesday, Justice Mehta posted the matter for hearing on July 19. He said that the interim protection order granted to Goswami will continue till then.