The Bombay High Court has suspended two FIRs lodged against Republic TV Editor-in-Chief, Arnab Goswami.
NM Joshi Marg and Pydhonie Police stations had filed the complaints in court over its coverage of the Palghar lynching incident and the gathering of migrant workers at Bandra railway station. Arnab Goswami and Republic’s Group CFO S Sundaram were questioned twice regarding its coverage.
Bombay High Court stated, “While the transcript is long, it is clear that it reported the killing of 2 Hindus. Petitioner had highlighted – the thrust of debate–pet had accused Congress and SG in particular of having a communal. Mindset. When the broadcast is read as a whole, it is not communal. It cannot be said there was any offence of rioting of disruption of harmony between religious groups. Neither statement of Petitioner, nor his conduct can be said to be Deliberate creating hatred- a view may be taken that Petitioners comments were quite sharp – SC observed that offence of defamation cannot be investigated.”
It added, “Supreme Court has held that India’s freedom can rest safe as long as journalists can speak without threat of reprisal. Our democracy is mature and 70 years old. It cannot be said that mere mention of a hatred may lead to disharmony.”
Goswami responded to the news, “I am extremely grateful to our legal team and personally grateful and forever indebted to India’s foremost lawyer Mr Harish Salve for fighting on our behalf and fighting with everything. I would also like to thank the entire team of Pheonix Legal for staying with me throughout the fight.”
Goswami added that it was the Congress party and its chief that had lost, “What has also lost is the attempt to use the tactics of the emergency to try and say you can file multiple FIRs against a single journalist, to drag him from one state to the other, to use your police apparatus, to use your government to get the upper hand. You cannot get the upper hand when you are wrong on ethics.”
Extracts from Republic Online