Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami was on Wednesday released from Mumbai’s Taloja Jail, hours after the Supreme Court granted him bail in the 2018 abetment to suicide case, reported ANI.

Visuals showed Goswami emerge from the sunroof of a vehicle, and shouting at a crowd gathered outside the prison.

Goswami and two others – Feroz Shaikh and Nitesh Sarda – had challenged the Bombay High Court’s Monday order rejecting their interim bail plea in the top court. Shaikh and Sarda’s plea for interim release were also accepted.

On Tuesday, Goswami had moved the Supreme Court against the High Court. It was listed urgently for hearing on the same day. Senior lawyer and Supreme Court Bar Association President Dushyant Dave had asked the Supreme Court registry how the bail plea was listed for an urgent hearing. Dave said such extraordinarily urgent listings “cannot and does not take place” without specific orders from the Chief Justice of India.

Wednesday’s hearing in the Supreme Court lasted for over five hours, with a break in between. A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee took up the case.

Goswami and other accused were granted bail on Wednesday, and a bond of Rs 50,000 was imposed on each of them. The Supreme Court’s order also directed the police to release the accused immediately. “We hold High Court was incorrect in not granting bail...,” the top court said.

During the hearing, the judges made several observations. “In a matter like this when some dues was not paid, would a suicide mean abetment,” Justice Chandrachud questioned. “Would it not be a travesty of justice if someone is denied bail for this? Is there an active incitement to suicide? Can you say that it is a case for custodial interrogation?”

The judge also pointed out that the Bombay High Court had written a 6-page detailed order, but did not deal with a basic question on whether an offence was made out prima facie in the case.

Also read:

Arnab Goswami granted bail by SC in 2018 abetment to suicide case

The case

Goswami and two other people – Feroz Shaikh and Nitesh Sarda – are alleged to have failed to pay money they owed to an interior designer named Anvay Naik, managing director of Concorde Designs Private Limited. Naik and his mother were found dead in their home in Kavir village near Mumbai in 2018. A suicide note said that the Goswami, Shaikh and Sarda had not paid dues amounting to Rs 5.4 crore.

In 2019, the Maharashtra Police had closed the case. However, on November 4, Goswami was arrested and remanded to 14-judicial custody, with the police stating that they were now investigating the matter again. On Monday, he was shifted from a makeshift Covid-19 quarantine centre he was held in to the Taloja Central Prison in Navi Mumbai, after the police alleged that he was using a cellphone in custody.

On Monday, the Bombay High Court refused to stop the investigation and grant Goswami bail, stating that there was no prima facie case for the court to invoke its extraordinary jurisdiction.