The Bombay High Court on Wednesday posed a straight question to the Mumbai Police on whether it would name Arnab Goswami and Republic TV as accused in the TRP scam. The HC said since the city police claims to have sufficient evidence against Arnab and his channel it should spell if it proposes to name them as accused.
A bench of Justices Sambhaji Shinde and Manish Pitale specifically ordered special public prosecutor Shishir Hiray to inform it on Thursday the exact stand of the city police.
"The probe in this matter started in October 2020 and we are in March 2021 now. We would thus want to know your (Mumbai Police) stand with regards to Arnab and Republic, especially, when you haven't named them as accused," the judges said.
"Your chargesheet names them as mere suspects. Let us clarify there is no concept like suspects in criminal law," the judges added.
This comes in response to the contentions put forth by Arnab and the channel through senior counsel Ashok Mundargi.
In his brief submissions on Tuesday, Mundargi had argued that Arnab and the channel aren't named in the FIR and neither do their names find a mention in the chargesheet. He had also claimed that there is no sufficient evidence against the channel and Arnab and thus the city police is dragging its feet over naming them as accused.
Countering the submissions, SPP Hiray pointed out that the city police has enough evidence and is still collecting "additional" material to prove it's case.
At this, Justice Shinde intervened saying, "Why should there be a sword hanging on them?"
"We fail to understand when you say you have sufficient evidence then why don't you name them as accused in this case," Justice Shinde observed.
The judges accordingly adjourned the matter for further hearing till Thursday.