The Supreme Court on Monday extended till further hearing the interim protection granted to anchor Arnab Goswami in connection with several FIRs registered against him for allegedly defaming Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi.
A bench headed by Justice Dr. DY Chandrachud and also comprising Justice MR Shah reserved its order on a plea seeking investigation in the matter by a probe agency other than Mumbai Police.
The court had on April 24,said that no coercive action should be taken against Goswami for three weeks during which he can seek anticipatory bail and other reliefs.
During the hearing today,Arnab Goswami appearing for Goswami told the top court that the investigation in connection with the FIRs against his client was not being conducted in a proper manner.
“There is already a slew of FIRs against the petitioner for his show.The nature of the investigation in the matter has clearly shown that this is a tactic against the petitioner,”Salve told the court. “The police are interrogating Goswami for over 12 hours.Does the FIRs in the matter need so much time for the interrogation of my client? It does not.He was asked about the details of his editorial team and content by the police,” he added.
The senior lawyer further said that the actions of the cops will have a chilling effect on the freedom of press.“The CEO of the company was questioned for six hours.What does a CEO of the company have to do with a news telecast,”he said.
Raising questions about the mindset of Mumbai Police,Salve said, the investigation is not going in a proper manner and asked the top court to look into the matter.
On the other hand,senior advocate Kapil Sibal appearing for Maharashtra government said that there are unique ways to deal with the investigation in different cases.
“The accused said his fundamental duties were violated.That he was not allowed to use his mobile phone and that he was not allowed to be involved in the journalistic process.He was asked a consolidated way of questions.Is this harassment? It is not,” Sibal submitted.