The Supreme Court Rejects Arnab’s Plea

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New Delhi:The Supreme Court rejected a request by Republic editor in chief Arnab Goswami, to transfer the investigations into the cases against him for spreading communal hatred to the CBI from the Maharashtra Police.On 11 May , Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah had reserved their judgment on the pleas by Goswami, to transfer the FIRs filed against him regarding his shows on the Palghar lynching and Bandra migrant gatherings – he had also asked for the cases to be quashed as they were allegedly an attempt to silence him as a journalist.In the judgment by Justice DY Chandrachud, the apex court today emphasised the importance and standing of freedom of the press but noted this was not “absolute”. As a result, the court declined to quash the main FIRs against Goswami, though it said he could follow the regular process of approaching the Bombay High Court under Section 482 of the CrPC to do so.
Goswami, editor-in-chief of Republic TV, has been booked in connection with a TV show on the gathering of migrants outside Bandra railway station on April 14. This apart, multiple FIRs have been filed against him for his show on Palghar lynching. In that show, he had posed certain questions on the incident to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, following which Congress workers lodged complaints against him in various states.Extending Goswami’s interim protection from arrest by three weeks, the Supreme Court said, “Right of a journalist under 19 1 (a) higher…Free citizens can’t exist if news media can’t speak.”
The court said however that the exercise of the fundamental right of speech and expression is not absolute and the media is answerable to the legal regime enacted with reference to the provisions of reasonable restrictions.

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