In a major setback for Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami, the Bombay High Court on Monday rejected his request for interim bail. This means he would continue to be in Taloja jail for the next few days.
A bench of Justices Sambhaji Shinde and Makarand Karnik while refusing interim bail to Arnab has, however, granted him the liberty to approach a lower court and seek regular bail.
"After going through the facts of the case, we are of the opinion that no case is made out for interim bail. The applicant (Arnab) however, has the remedy to approach a lower court and seek regular bail," Justice Shinde said while pronouncing the judgment.
The judges were seized with the petition filed by Arnab challenging his arrest and the subsequent custody, claiming to have been a victim of "illegal detention."
"A dead case was reopened and this shows malice on part of the state government," senior counsel Harish Salve had argued on Saturday for Arnab.
The counsel had further argued that maximum a case of civil dispute could be made out against his client since Arnab has been booked for not paying Rs 80 lakhs to architect Anvay Naik, who committed suicide.
On the other hand, the state had argued that it found some more material against Arnab and it accordingly reopened the case. "This is no vendetta. Even the victim has the right for a free and fair probe. We balanced the right of the accused Arnab and also the rights of the victim Naik family," senior counsel Amit Desai had argued.
Desai, in his submissions, had further pointed out that the police had arrested Arnab after following due procedure of law. "The arrest isn't illegal. Especially after the Magistrate sent him to judicial custody. They cannot say that this is a case of illegal detention because the Magistrate has sent him to judicial custody after applying his mind to the case of the prosecution," Desai argued.
A detailed judgment copy would be upload on the HC website.