In an embarrassment for the Mumbai Police, the Bombay High Court on Thursday said the investigating agencies be it Mumbai Police or the CBI, ED, etc. must act reasonably and objectively. The HC said that probes by all these agencies in any given case cannot go on forever and must stop at some point in time.
A bench of Justices Sambhaji Shinde and Manish Pitale made the observations while hearing the submissions of the city police regarding naming Arnab Goswami and his channel Republic TV as accused in the TRP scam case.
Notably, both Arnab and the channel aren't named as accused in the chargesheet by the city police, and neither are they shown as accused in the TRP.
With no positive response from the city police on this aspect, the irked judges said the prosecution cannot continue to probe this case forever.
"We are of the firm opinion that the agencies be it Mumbai or state Police, the CBI, ED, etc must act reasonably and objectively. The probe agencies cannot become another form of trouble for citizens," the judges observed.
To no clarity from the city police as to by when would it complete the probe, the bench said, "The agencies must understand that they cannot continue the probe forever. The investigations must stop at some stage."
"If you (Mumbai Police) say you have evidence then why don't you name them as accused. You just cannot have it both the ways by first not making them as accused and then claiming to have material against them," the judges remarked.
The bench further said the police should make a statement by when would it complete the probe. "If you are reasonable enough then why don't you make a statement giving a time period by when you would end your probe. For instance, say you would complete the probe within 30 days. Like this you can be reasonable," the judges said.
The judges are dealing with a plea filed by ARG Outlier Media and Arnab Goswami seeking to quash all the criminal proceedings initiated against them by the Mumbai Police in the TRP scam case.
The matter would be next heard on Monday.