Angry Supreme Court judges defend decision to hear Arnab Goswami’s case out of turn, imposes Rs 100 fine on lawyer for allegation; weeks after Kavita Kaushik, Saif Ali Khan’s co-star slam anchor

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The Supreme Court has defended its decision to hear Arnab Goswami’s case out of turn by saying that ‘it pertained to liberty and freedom of media.’ The top court also imposed a fine of Rs 100 on the lawyer, who had alleged preferential treatment to Goswami as it warned the petitioner to be careful of his conduct in the future. This came weeks after Kavita Kaushik, Saif Ali Khan’s co-star slammed the controversial anchor for his shenanigans.

The Supreme Court bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra and S. Abdul Nazeer said while dismissing lawyer Reepak Kansal’s petition, “As to case of Arnab Goswami, it was listed urgently in view of order of competent authority. It pertained to liberty and freedom of media.”

The bench, according to Livelaw website, added, “we find no ground to entertain the petition. We expect the petitioner to be more careful and live up to the dignity of the profession which it enjoys.”

Dismissing Kansal’s petition, the court said, “We dismiss the petition and impose cost of Rs.100/­ (Rupees One Hundred only) on the petitioner as a token to remind his responsibility towards noble profession and that he ought not to have preferred such a
petition.”

The Bench did not stop here. It went on to add that it expected ‘members of the noble fraternity to respect themselves first,’ adding that ‘They are an intellectual class of the society.’ “What may be proper for others may still be improper for them, the expectations from them is to be exemplary to the entire society, then only the dignity of noble profession and judicial system can be protected. The Registry is nothing but an arm of this
Court and an extension of its dignity. Bar is equally respected and responsible part of the integral system, Registry is part and parcel of the system, and the system has to work in tandem and mutual reverence. We also expect from the Registry to work efficiently and effectively. At the same time, it is expected of the lawyers also to remove the defects effectively and not to unnecessarily cast aspersions on the system,” the Supreme Court Bench said in its order.

Last month, the Supreme Court had lost expressed its displeasure after Kansal alleged preferential treatment to Republic TV founder Arnab Goswami while hearing his case in April this year.

The Supreme Court Bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, Abdul Nazeer and M R Shah asked lawyer Reepak Kansal, “You are unnecessarily dragging Registry into this. There were defects. How can you compare your Petition on One Nation One Ration Card to the plea of Arnab Goswami? What was the urgency? Why are you saying nonsensical things?”

The Supreme Court had come under plenty of criticism in April this year when it decided to hear Goswami plea seeking protection from arrest after multiple FIRs were filed against him for promoting religious hatred during his coverage of the Palghar lynching. Goswami was also accused of using the derogatory language for Congress President Sonia Gandhi. The Supreme Court had granted Goswami three-week protection from arrest.

Days later, the top court had rejected Goswami’s pleas seeking quashing of FIRs filed against him and the transfer of the case to the CBI, which reports to the BJP government at the Centre.

Earlier, several celebrities including FIR actress Kavita Kaushik, filmmaker Anubhav Sinha and actress Kubbra Sait had slammed Goswami for his shenanigans in the recent days leading to his interrogation by the Mumbai Police.

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