A conspiracy involving an attack on freedom of press Or the reopening of doors of justice for an Interior designer’s family?
Before we discuss, the arrest of one of the best journalists of Indian Media, Mr. Arnab Goswami. We must know, who is Arnab Goswami? and what happened to Arnab Goswami?
Arnab Ranjan Goswami was born in Guwahati, Assam on the 7th of March in 1973. He belongs to an Assamese family with an Army Background. He is one of the world famous Indian news anchors. Arnab Goswami is the managing director and editor-in-chief of the Republic Media Network.
Prior to this, Arnab was the editor-in-chief and a news anchor of Times Now and ET Now, from 2006 to 2016. Previously, he also worked for NDTV and The Telegraph. He anchored News Hour, a live debate on Times Now which drove him to widespread fame. Frankly Speaking with Arnab was another television show which gave him great reach to the news audience. In November 2016, Arnab Goswami resigned as editor-in-chief of Times Now and launched his own channel Republic TV in May 2017.
Various allegations of opinionated reporting in support of BJP and Hindutva are put upon him across many situations like uncritical reproduction of government narratives, avoiding criticism of figures from BJP, and presenting, the opposition party in a negative light.
Arnab Goswami has also been involved in various controversies previously.
One of those cases which created Hype all over the world is that of the Tharoor defamation case in 2014.
Arnab Goswami and Republic TV claimed Dr. Tharoor’s link in his wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death through various broadcasts and news reports.
Parliamentarian Dr. Shashi Tharoor filed a civil defamation case in the Delhi High Court against Arnab and his channel Republic TV, that month.
In 2020, another case attracted a huge audience. The case was of Palghar mob lynching. Several FIR’s were filed against Arnab Goswami regarding his alleged usage of unacceptable language, as well as the reports claiming misinformation.
There are several other controversies surrounding Arnab Goswami and the most recent one is of the Abetment of suicide.
Arnab Goswami was arrested on 4 November 2020 in a 2018 suicide case of Anvay Naik under Section 306 and Section 34 of IPC by Mumbai Police. Anvay Nayak in his suicide note mentioned three individuals including Goswami, as the reason for ending his life. As claimed by him, non payment of dues forced him to suicide.
Anvay Naik, a 53-year-old was an architect and interior designer. He had named Mr. Goswami for not paying him his dues after he designed the channel’s interiors.
The police closed the case two years ago, allegedly under pressure. Two others named in the note, Feroz and Nitesh Sharda, were also arrested. But now the case has been reopened at the request of the victim’s wife and daughter. And Mr. Arnab Goswami was arrested by Mumbai Police from his Home.
The family of the victim alleged that they had been threatened and warned against going to the police when a BJP-led government was in power. And under the pressure, the case was closed two years ago.
Republic TV said in a statement: “Arnab Goswami’s arrest has been made part of a larger vindictive exercise against an independent journalist and news network.”
The arrest came when Mr. Goswami is in clashes with the Mumbai Police over its investigations into a rating scam. Allegations have been put upon Republic TV that it is among three channels involved in manipulating TRPs by bribing for viewership.
The editor in chief of Republic TV had accused the Mumbai police of harassing his colleagues. He also accused Mumbai Police of pursuing a vendetta over his channel’s criticism of Mumbai Police’s handling of the Sushant Singh Rajput case.
Raigad Police in Maharashtra has brought the matter of freedom of expression in limelight. It has provoked debates about India’s fundamental right to freedom of speech and if it is losing its long cherished value in the Constitution in the present scenario.
In Indian democracy, courts have always accorded the highest respect for protecting the right to freedom of speech and expression mentioned in Article 19 (1)(a) of our constitution.
Yet, the arrest of one of India’s most loved journalists, Mr. Arnab Goswami raises several issues of propriety.
The freedom of speech in the Indian Constitution comprises three essential elements. Freedom of access to all information; freedom of publication; freedom of circulation.
Several and many times, the courts have clarified that interference by the state ruling government to the right to freedom of speech should not be tolerated.
Mr. Arnab Goswami and his channel Republic TV has again accused Mumbai Police of assault and illegal arrest under the pressure of the Maharashtra government.
The channel has also accused the police of bitter conspiracy behind his arrest.
The Magistrate Court in Alibag, Maharashtra, has rejected the plea for bail and has ordered police custody for Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami on Wednesday. The court has remanded him in judicial custody for 14 days. In court, The prosecutor said custody was essentially required for questioning on some documents Mr. Goswami tried to evade arrest and had not been co-operating.
Time will show, what turns this case takes and what theory of conspiracies come out. Or the truth behind Arnab’s arrest will eventually be revealed to the public and the court would decide if he proves to be guilty or not.
Meanwhile, his fans are on the streets to support him and they are protesting in large amounts against Arnab’s arrest.
They are seeking his immediate release and urging the Central government for this.
Currently, Arnab Goswami’s team has applied for a fresh plea in the Supreme Court of India against the verdict of his judicial custody given by the High Court of Maharashtra.
But the ultimate decision and verdict will be given by the court after a proper investigation.
We will keep you informed about the twists and turns this case take.