The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to quash the FIRs filed against Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami over his alleged defamatory statements against Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi in a news show relating to Palghar mob-lynching case.
The apex court also refused to transfer the investigation into the FIRs filed against Goswami to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Supreme Court also extended for 3 weeks interim protection against any coercive steps granted to Goswami, reported news agency ANI.
Observing that Journalistic freedom lies at the core of freedom of speech and expression, the top court quashed all other FIRs except the initial one, which was registered at Nagpur and subsequently transferred to Mumbai for joint investigation with the complaint of the journalist regarding the alleged assault on him.
The top court on May 11 had directed that no coercive action should be taken against Goswami in the fresh FIR lodged by Mumbai police and had reserved its verdict on both of his petitions.
Goswami had claimed in the top court that he was interrogated by Mumbai Police for over 12 hours with regard to FIR on alleged defamatory statements and one of the two investigating officers probing the case against him has tested positive for Covid-19.
Maharashtra government had also moved the apex court alleging that Goswami has been misusing protection granted by the top court and has been "browbeating" the police by "creating fear psychosis".
(Inputs from Agencies)