In a huge setback to Arnab Goswami, the Bombay High Court refused to grant immediate relief to the Republic TV founder, who has had to spend the third night in judicial custody in an abetment to suicide case. This despite Goswami’s lawyer Harish Salve making desperate pleas for ad-interim order granting Goswami bail. Unaffected by Salve’s arguments, Justices SS Shinde said, “We can’t pass order today. It is already six. Meanwhile, we will clarify that pendency of the petition will not bar the petitioner from approaching the sessions court for bail and if such an application is filed, it should be decided within four days.” The development came just days after Goswami launched a stunning attack on Salman Khan with ‘Bigg Boss of drugs’ and ‘senior citizen’ jibes.
Amit Desai, the lawyer representing the Maharashtra government, demolished arguments made by Goswami’s lawyer, Harish Salve and Abad Ponda, explaining why Goswami’s arrest and custody were not illegal. “They have only raised the issue of an illegal arrest. They have not raised any issue of illegal detention as they have not challenged the remand order,” argued Desai.
He continued, “Arrest happens before a person is produced before the Magistrate. The moment your “illegal arrest” has resulted in judicial remand, the question of arrest is not relevant later. Issue of arrest is distinct from issue of custody.”
Arrest happens before a person is produced before the Magistrate. The moment your “illegal arrest” has resulted in a judicial remand, the question of arrest is not relevant later. Issue of arrest is distinct from issue of custody : Desai for State
— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) November 7, 2020
Representing the victims namely Akshita Naik, senior advocate Sirish Gupte opposed Goswami’s release on bail as he asked, “Have we thought of what harm has been caused to this family?” He added that the balance of convenience must be in favour of the victim who has suffered than this gentleman, referring to Goswami.
Gupte, according to Livelaw, asked, “What is the urgency that this gentleman must be given an audience by a division bench of this court for three day? During the times of COVID19, several petitions are not being heard by the court.”
This prompted an instant interruption from Justice Shinde, who explained with a smile, “Two benches of the Court are hearing such matters. Matters of bail parole etc are disposed of within a week. Today, we held special sitting on the basis of consensus.”
Gupte clarified that he was only responding to Salve argument made on Friday that what harm will be caused if Goswam is released on bail. “It is the comparative harm I was talking about,” Gupte explained prompting Justice Shinde to remark, “We know your heart is clean.”
There was a brief exchange between lawyer Devadatt Kamat and Salve after the former asked the court to delete Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh as a respondent in the case since Goswami was arrested by the Raigad Police. Salve interrupted saying that the submission could not be entertained when the court was pressed for time.
However, Kamat continued, prompting Salve to say, ‘Oh God.’ Referring to a judgment, Kamat said that there had to be some responsibility while making allegations. He said, “This is not a TV studio. This is Constitutional Court.”
Goswami has had to spend the third night in judicial custody after he was arrested from his residence in connection with the abetment of a suicide case. A local court in Alibaug had sent him to judicial custody until 18 November.