New Delhi [India], November 9 (ANI): BJP leader and senior advocate Gaurav Bhatia on Monday wrote a letter to the Chief Justice of India SA Bobde urging the Supreme Court to take suo motu cognizance of "blatant violation of basic human rights" of Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami and put "a stop to travesty of justice being inflicted by the Maharashtra Government and the Mumbai Police".
Bhatia, in his letter, said that the arrest and detention of Arnab Goswami by Maharashtra government and Mumbai Police was "patently unconstitutional, manifestly illegal, and is a textbook case of malafide exercise of power".
"Republic Media and its Editor-in-Chief are being targeted and vilified for performing their duty. They are being penalized for asking tough questions to the Maharashtra government in cases like the brutal murders of priests in Palgarh, Sushant Singh Rajput case and others," Bhatia said.
The letter said that the arrest of Goswami, who is also Managing Director of Republic Media Network, is "a direct assault on the media", the fourth pillar of democracy.
"In another example of blatant malafide exercise of power the Mumbai Police, did a press conference falsely alleging the role of Republic TV in a TRP scam. In another case, the Mumbai Police blatantly disregarded the due process of law and reopened an abetment to suicide case of 2018 which was closed earlier, and illegally and in a malafide manner arrested Arnab Goswami from his house on November 4, 2020," the letter said.
Citing media reports, Bhatia said that Goswami was abruptly shifted from Alibaug Jail quarantine center to Taloja Jail "in a jail van with windows covered with black screens yesterday" and "he can be heard shouting for his life and stating that he has been assaulted".
He said Goswami is also seen shouting that "there is a grave threat to his life in prison".
"The journalist has also faced a tirade of persecution from the Mumbai Police. The Maharashtra state assembly also through its Speaker sent seven notices for breach of privilege to Goswami. This court in the interest of justice intervened and stayed the proceedings against Arnab Goswami vide its order dated November 6," the letter said.
Bhatia said that the Secretary of the Maharashtra State Assembly intimidated and challenged the fundamental right of Goswami to move the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution against the malafide and arbitrary acts of the state assembly.
Earlier, today, the Bombay High Court refused to grant interim relief to Goswami in connection with a case related to the death of interior designer Anvay Naik, who allegedly died by suicide in Alibaug in May 2018 directed him to approach a lower court to seek bail. A suicide note purportedly written by Naik alleged that Goswami and some others had not paid him his dues. (ANI)