Bombay HC Rejects Plea Seeking Ban on Republic TV & Arnab

By Sharvari Lohakare

On Tuesday, the Bombay High Court declined to grant any relief in writ petitions filed by two Congress party members who sought ban on Republic TV and journalist Arnab Goswami.  The petitioners had also demanded lodging of FIR against Arnab and his TV channel Republic TV for allegedly spreading communal hatred during a television debate regarding Palghar mob lynching case. The said petition was filed by Bhai Jagtap, a MLC from Congress and Suraj Thakur, State VC of Maharashtra Youth Congress and was heard by Justice Prithviraj Chavan. The court suggested the petitioners could move the SC and kept the matter pending, denying any sort of relief. Lately, numerous FIRs have been registered against Arnab Goswami. He is being investigated by Mumbai Police in the same regard. Three weeks ago, the SC had granted Goswami protection from arrest. Since the said matter is pending before the SC, Justice Chavan denied relief relying upon the palpable investigation being carried out already. The petition cites 30 diverse comments made during the questionable telecast on Republic TV and defamatory comments against Congress President Sonia Gandhi. The plea also blames Arnab for inciting communal hatred by giving religious colours to the media debate.  Out of all the FIRs registered against Arnab, the bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice MR Shah directed proceedings in all of them except the one FIR filed in Nagpur which they stayed until further orders. The division bench also has granted Arnab interim protection.  He is yet to file an application asking for anticipatory bail before the Bombay High Court.

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