Republic TV Editor-in-Chief, Arnab Goswami told the Bombay High Court on Wednesday that the Supreme Court judgment of November 27 releasing him on bail in the abetment to suicide case, also covers his present plea to quash the chargesheet against him in the case.
Senior Advocate Aabad Ponda, representing Goswami, told a Bench of Justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik that his arguments were based on the observations in the order given by Justice DY Chandrachud led Bench of Supreme Court.
“The judgment is my best argument,” Ponda submitted.
Ponda was arguing an application seeking directions to the Chief Judicial Magistrate at Alibaug to refrain from taking cognizance of the chargesheet filed by the Raigad Police in the abetment to suicide case of interior designer, Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud Naik.
Goswami is one of the accused in the case after he was named by Naik in his suicide note for allegedly refusing to pay up pending dues to Naik.
In support of his prayers, Ponda on Wednesday read out the portion of the order where the Supreme Court concluded that “a prima facie evaluation of the FIR, does not establish the ingredients of the offence of abetment of suicide under Sections 306 of IPC.”
His primary contention was that the Supreme Court had found that allegations against Goswami did not prima facie fulfil the criteria necessary for attracting the offence under Section 306, Hence, the chargesheet which implicated him should not be taken cognizance of.
Justice Shinde immediately interjected stating that the moment it is a ‘prima facie observation’, it would imply that the case is still open.
He recollected that he had read a paragraph from the order which clearly specified that the observations of the Supreme Court are prima facie, since the proceedings for final hearing are pending before the High Court.
Justice Shinde was referring to paragraph 66 of the order which stated the following:
“66. Since the proceedings are pending before the High Court, we clarify that the observations on the facts contained in the present judgment are confined to a determination whether a case for grant of interim protection was made out. Equally, the observations which are contained in the impugned order of the High Court were also at the interim stage and will not affect the final resolution of the issues which arise and have been raised before the High Court.”
However, Ponda pointed out to the Court that the Chief Judicial Magistrate has taken cognizance of the charge sheet and sought leave from the Court to amend the plea to challenge the charge sheet as well.
The Court granted the necessary leave and permitted the State to file a reply to the amended plea if need be.
The matter will now be heard through video conference on January 6, 2021.