The Bombay High Court on Friday extended the interim protection from arrest to Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami in an abetment to suicide case filed against him in May 2018, reported The Indian Express. Goswami was also exempted from personal appearance in the Alibaug court till April 16.
The chief judicial magistrate had summoned Goswami to appear on March 10 in the case, and had refused to allow exemption from appearance, reported Live Law. With Friday’s order, the journalist will not have to appear in court now.
Goswami and two others – Firoze Shaikh and Nitish Sarda – are accused of abetting the suicide of 53-year-old interior designer Anvay Naik. 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. On November 11, the Supreme Court had ordered the release of the journalist and the two other accused on interim bail, including a bond of Rs 5,000 each. 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”.
On December 16, the Bombay High Court allowed Goswami to challenge the chargesheet filed in the 2018 abetment to suicide case.