The Bombay High Court on Friday extended its earlier order granting interim protection to Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami and exempted him from appearing before a magistrates court at Alibag in Raigad district in connection with an abetment to suicide case. Goswami and two others Firoze Sheikh and Nitish Sarda are accused of abetting the suicide of Alibaug-based interior designer Anvay Naik in May 2018 over alleged non- payment of dues by the companies of the accused persons.
The trio has moved the high court seeking to quash the FIR and subsequent chargesheet filed by the police against them. They had sought interim protection and exemption from appearance before a magistrates court in Alibag, a coastal town in Raigad district located around 100km from Mumbai.
The accused persons have to appear before the magistrates court for committal of trial in the case to a sessions court. The high court had on March 5 granted the three accused persons exemption from appearance before the court and said it would hear the petitions on April 16.
Goswamis counsel Sanjog Parab on Friday told the court that since April 16 has been declared as a holiday by the high court, the petitions could be heard later. The interim order granting the petitioner (Goswami) exemption may be extended as the next date before the magistrate is April 26, Parab said.
A division bench of Justices S S Shinde and Manish Pitale agreed and said it would hear the petitions on April 23. Accordingly, we extend the interim relief of exemption from appearance until further orders, the court said.
Goswami and the other two accused were arrested on November 4, 2020. After the arrest, they had sought urgent bail from the high court which rejected their pleas following which they moved the Supreme Court.
The apex court granted the trio bail on November 11, 2020.