A magistrate in Jammu and Kashmir has issued non- bailable arrest warrant against Republic TV founder Arnab Goswami with three of his colleagues. The Chief Judicial Magistrate in Srinagar also asked the concerned Senior Superintendent of Police to ensure they appear in the court in person on 23 March next month.
This was in response to a case filed by PDP leader Naeem Akhtar, who had approached the court accusing Goswami and his channel of broadcasting ‘scandalous’ content.
Akhtar, in his defamation case, had pleaded before the court to hold the named Republic TV individuals on trial. The court in December had directed Goswami and his colleagues to appear before it by 9 February, 2019. However, the CJM decided to issue a non-bailable warrant after they failed to turn up in the court. Goswami had filed a plea requesting the court for exemption from personal appearance. But the court rejected his plea.
The other named individuals are Adidtya Raj Kaul, Zeenat Zeeshan Fazil and Sakl Bhatt. While Aditya Raj Kaul is a senior Associate Editor with Republic TV, Zeenat Zeeshan works for the channel as its Jammu and Kashmir bureau chief.
Earlier this month, the Patiala House Court had directed the Delhi Police to register and FIR against Goswami for allegedly hacking into Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s personal email and stealing documents.
The order had stated, “This court is of the considered view that in view of allegations leveled by complainant and material produced on record in the form of RTI replies and other material, matter disclosed commission of cognizable offence.
Goswami had launched Republic TV with the help of BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar last year. He has often faced allegations of promoting the BJP’s agenda through his channel.
Goswami has been facing social media roasting recently for insulting the cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar after the former legendary India batsman commented against boycotting Pakistan in this year’s World Cup.