A raging controversy over the death of an architect, Anvay Naik, in Raigad district has stumbled into a major legal hurdle. Even though the Maharashtra minister of state for home, Shambhuraje Desai, last week ordered Raigad Police to reopen the alleged abetment to suicide case against Republic TV head Arnab Goswami, police cannot do that as the case has already been closed by them for want of evidence.
A home department official told The Free Press Journal, ''The wife of the deceased Anvay Naik, Akshita, had, on Wednesday and Thursday met the officials from the law and judiciary department to seek their opinion and decide on the future course of action. Raigad Police cannot reopen or reinvestigate the case, as it has been closed.'' The official said reopening or reinvestigation of the case would be possible only if Akshita or other family members approach the court, seeking an order in this regard.
Last week, Akshita, along with Shiv Sena legislator Pratap Sarnaik, had threatened to stage a sit-in on August 15 and had urged Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to reopen the case. It was then that Desai had stepped in and directed Raigad Police to do so. In May, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had tweeted that the “re-investigation” had been ordered on a fresh complaint by Adnya Naik, the daughter of the architect. However, no official order was issued in reality, following the legal hurdle.
The case pertains to Anvay Naik, an architect and interior designer from Alibaug in Raigad district and his mother, who had allegedly committed suicide in May 2018. Police sources said, a suicide note purportedly penned by Naik, the managing director of Concorde Designs Private Limited, had said that he was forced to take his life as Arnab Goswami and the other two persons—Feroz Shaikh and Niteish Sarda--did not pay him Rs 4.50 crore in dues.
Raigad Police had registered the abetment to suicide case under Section 360 of the Indian Penal Code against Goswami and others with regard to non-payment of dues. However, Republic TV had clarified that all payments due to Naik's firm had been made.
The official said, ''Raigad Police had registered the case of abetment to suicide against three persons. However, they filed a summary report before the court saying that there was not enough evidence to file a chargesheet against Goswami and two others. Subsequently, they closed the case.'' He reiterated, only after a court order could the case be reopened.