In a good news, the Supreme Court has stated that Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami will not be sent to jail till the case is on in the High Court. The court also added that even if the high court were to decide adversely, Goswami and his two associates will be given protection for four weeks.
The Supreme Court on Friday observed that criminal law cannot become a “weapon for the selective harassment of citizens”, while providing reasons for granting interim bail to journalist Arnab Goswami on November 11 in connection with a 2018 abetment to suicide case.
Underscoring that the “basic rule of the criminal justice system is bail, not jail”, a bench of Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Indira Banerjee in an order extended the interim bail granted to Goswami, noting that it will be in effect until further proceedings.
Justice DY Chandrachud said: “We have perused over Section 306 of IPC. It cannot be said that the appellants had abetted the suicide of the head of the architectural firm. The HC said the justification to quash has to be exercised carefully.
“The ingredient of the offence was not established. The HC has failed to exercise its powers under Section 482 CrPC and thus failed to exercise power under Article 226 of the constitution.
Justice Chandrachud also said: “The appellants are residents of India and don’t post flight risk, nor can they tamper with evidence. We have also added a section on human liberty and role of courts: Section 482 recognizes powers of the HC to give effect to other provisions of CrPC.
“It needs to be seen whether the accused can tamper with evidence, or whether the accused can flee, or whether ingredients of offence is made out along with interests of state. These principles have emerged over time. Here the case is about liberty of a citizen,” he added.
Goswami was arrested by Maharashtra Police in connection with a 2018 suicide case on November 4. His arrest sparked outrage among people in the country, many called it a “misuse of state power”.