Arnab Goswami
Arnab Goswami
Photo by PTI

Mumbai: Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami will have to spend one more day in jail as the Bombay High Court on Friday refused to pass any orders granting him interim bail.

The court said it would consider passing appropriate orders in the matter on Saturday after hearing all the parties, including the Maharashtra police and also the complainant Naik family.

A bench of Justices Sambhaji Shinde and Makarand Karnik would take up Arnab's plea on Saturday noon, which was supposed to be a holiday.

Arnab has petitioned the bench seeking to quash the FIR registered against him in a 2018 case, wherein he is arraigned as an accused for abetting the suicide of an architect Anvay Naik.

Notably, the bench had adjourned the plea even on Thursday, denying interim bail to Arnab.

On Friday when the matter was taken up for hearing, senior counsel Harish Salve appearing for Arnab submitted that his client doesn't deserve to be in custody for even a single day.

"The only point I am trying to put across is that why should he be kept in jail? The death took place in 2018 and nothing has happened in the matter from then till now. I don't know what will happen now till Diwali," the senior counsel argued.

"Whether my client will go on his channel and say things against Parambir Singh, the Commissioner of Police, Mumbai? The answer is yes he will. But that won't hamper the probe," the counsel added.

The advocate, appearing through video conference, further submitted that there is no material to prove that his client instigated or created circumstances which left Naik with no other option but to commit suicide.

"The only allegation, even in the suicide note, is that I didn't pay the money. But that would, at the most, be a civil dispute and not a criminal case," Salve argued.

The legal team, including senior counsel Abad Ponda, further highlighted the series of FIRs registered against Arnab and his channel - Republic TV.

"There are multiple FIRs against my client in various cases such as the TRP scam case. Then there is a breach of privilege motion against him for criticising the state affairs," Salve pointed out.

"Then, the present case pertains to a 2018 FIR which was initially closed and has been now re-opened with malicious intentions. Thus, it is clear that the state has been acting with malice," the counsel added.

Having heard the submissions for nearly two hours, Justice Shinde pointed out that by virtue of the present habeas corpus petition, Arnab has sought bail.

"This isn't our assignment. We cannot grant bail that would be for a single judge's assignment. Move a plea before the chief justice, he is the master of the roster and he might re-assign your plea," Justice Shinde opined.

However, both Ponda and Salve insisted that the bench, presiding over a constitutional court, had plenty of powers to grant bail on a writ petition.

At this, Justice Shinde said, "We won't pass any orders today (Friday). We will have to hear all the parties, including the complainant."

"We will take up the matter for hearing on Saturday noon and pass an appropriate order only after hearing all the parties – the state and the complainant, on a limited point of interim bail," the judge said while adjourning the matter.

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