Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday allowed journalist Arnab Goswami to challenge the chargesheet filed in the 2018 abetment of suicide case against him after it was informed that a magistrates court in Raigad district has taken cognizance of the document. Goswami’s counsel Aabad Ponda told the HC that the magistrate’s court at Alibag in the adjoining district earlier in the day took cognizance of the chargesheet filed by the police against his client and two others in the suicide case of an interior designer.
Ponda then sought time from the high court to amend the petition filed by the Republic TV Editor-in-Chief against the FIR registered by the Alibag police in the more than two- year-old case case to also challenge the chargesheet. A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik accepted the request and directed the magistrates court to issue a copy of the chargesheet to Goswami at the earliest.
The chargesheet has been filed before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Sunayna Pingale. The HC said it would hear the matter further on January 6.
Goswami and the two other accused were arrested by the Alibag police on November 4 in connection with the suicide of architect-interior designer Anvay Naik in 2018 over alleged non-payment of dues by the companies of the trio. The 47-year-old TV journalist, who has denied charges in the case, had then filed a petition in the HC seeking to quash the FIR and had also sought interim bail.
The high court had on November 9 refused to grant interim bail following which Goswami approached the Supreme Court. The apex court on November 11 granted interim bail to Goswami.
The police earlier this month filed its chargesheet in the case against Goswami and the two other accused. The news anchor later filed an application in the HC seeking a direction to the magistrate to not take cognizance of the chargesheet.
Since the magistrate has just taken cognizance of the chargesheet, we would like to amend the petition and bring the chargesheet on record to challenge the same, Ponda said. He called filing of the chargesheet a "hasty" move.