The Bombay High Court on Wednesday allowed Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami to challenge the chargesheet filed in the 2018 abetment to suicide case against him, reported Live Law. The other two accused named in the chargesheet, filed before a court in Alibaug in Raigad district, are Firoze Shaikh and Nitish Sarda.
Goswami’s counsel Aabad Ponda informed the High Court that the magistrate court in Alibaug took cognisance of the chargesheet earlier in the day. Ponda then sought time from the High Court to amend Goswami’s petition against the first information report, to also challenge the chargesheet.
A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik directed the magistrate court to issue a copy of the chargesheet to Goswami at the earliest. The court will hear the matter again on January 6.
Goswami, Shaikh and Sarda are accused in 53-year-old interior designer Anvay Naik’s abetment to suicide case. Naik and his mother, Kumud Naik, died by suicide in Alibaug in May 2018. A suicide note purportedly written by Anvay Naik, who was the managing director of Concorde Designs, said that Goswami and the two others had not paid Rs 5.40 crore that they owed to him in exchange for services rendered. Concorde Designs is a Mumbai-based architectural and interior designing firm. Naik’s mother was on the firm’s board of directors.
The three accused were arrested on November 4. The journalist got bail from the Supreme Court on November 11. The Supreme Court later elaborated on its reasons for granting bail to Goswami and noted that criminal law should not become “a tool for selective harassment of citizens”.