Republic TV promoter Arnab Goswami's request for interim relief in connection with the deaths by suicide of an architect and his mother in 2018 will be heard by the Bombay High Court this afternoon. But before that, what comes as a shot in the arm for Mr Goswami is that a court in Maharashtra's Alibaug, which had refused police custody for Mr Goswami and sent him to 14 days of judicial custody, has listed the reasons for doing so in an 11-page order. While the order is a relief for Mr Goswami, police sources say they disagree with the conclusions of the court and will challenge it in the appropriate forum.
The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Sunaina Pingale, in her order says Raigad Police has failed to show why police custody is required for Mr Goswami in the case where the "A" summary has been filed, leading the closure of the case earlier. The magistrate goes on to add that grounds for arrest and police custody pleaded by the prosecution show that the arrest too may seem to be illegal.
While refusing police custody of Mr. Goswami, the court said that it "failed to see how the police has sought for remand without bringing strong evidence on record to show that the circumstances leading to the arrest, which warranted his police custody for investigation." It added that the police failed to show what were the shortcomings and lacunae in the investigation which was carried out in 2018, leading to re-opening of the investigation.
In a further setback for the police, the court said that Raigad Police failed to show the link between the alleged deaths by suicide and Mr Goswami's connection to those suicides to justify police custody.
Raigad Police had sought 14 days of police custody for conducting an investigation in the 2018 First Information Report (FIR) that had been closed. Architect Anvay Naik's family had alleged that Arnab Goswami had used his influence to scuttle the investigation and get the case closed.
Additional Public Prosecutor Mahakal told the court that when the investigation was first conducted in 2018, the police had found no evidence and hence the "A" summary report was filed for closure. He added that after Mr Naik's wife, Akshata Naik, filed another complaint, the police re-started the probe and found evidence to justify the arrest of Arnab Goswami and the other two accused.