No Prima Facie Case Against Arnab Goswami in Abetment to Suicide Case: Supreme CourtNovember 27, 2020
Mumbai: Republic Media Network today said it is humbled and grateful to the Supreme Court of the country for its judgment that upholds personal liberty and reaffirms the citizen’s faith in our constitution. With the strong observations of the Supreme Court in its judgement on the bail plea of Arnab Goswami and others in the Anvay Naik suicide case, Republic has been completely vindicated. In a landmark judgment, Justices D Y Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee have reiterated stood for the truth, and reiterated that fundamental rights form the bedrock of our Constitution.
Upholding the principle rule of law, the Supreme Court made strong observations which bludgeon the individuals and machinery involved in the malicious denial of fundamental rights and breach of due process of law. The top court has made prima facie observations regarding how no case of abetment of suicide as under section 306 of the IPC is made out. The Supreme Court has set a precedent with its 55 page, 68 paragraph judgment that protects personal liberty not just in the present case, but also in the years and decades to come.
The Supreme Court made crucial observations on the malafide actions against the Republic Media network and its members. Recognising the choreography of malafide intent, in paragraph 60 it has said, “In the present case, the High Court could not but have been cognizant of the specific ground which was raised before it by the appellant that he was being made a target as a part of a series of occurrences which have been taking place since April 2020.”
Speaking against vindictive gameplay, in paragraph 61, the Supreme Court stated, “The doors of this Court cannot be closed to a citizen who is able to establish prima facie that the instrumentality of the State is being weaponized for using the force of criminal law. Our courts must ensure that they continue to remain the first line of defense against the deprivation of the liberty of citizens”.
The Supreme Court has upheld the fundamental right to liberty and said, “Deprivation of liberty even for a single day is one day too many. We must always be mindful of the deeper systemic implications of our decisions.”
The Supreme Court’s judgment has not only bolstered a free press and an individual’s liberty but has ensured a precedent is set against state mechanism being used as a tool for vicious vendetta driven conspiracy. The top court observed, “Courts should be alive to both ends of the spectrum – the need to ensure the proper enforcement of criminal law on the one hand and the need, on the other, of ensuring that the law does not become a ruse for targeted harassment. Liberty across human eras is as tenuous as tenuous can be.”
Making prima facie observations against the wrongful targeting of Arnab Goswami in the suicide case by subverting the law and order process, the top court noted, “Prima facie, on the application of the test which has been laid down by this Court in a consistent line of authority which has been noted above, it cannot be said that the appellant was guilty of having abetted the suicide within the meaning of Section 306 of the IPC. These observations, we must note, are prima facie at this stage since the High Court is still to take up the petition for quashing.”
Republic in its statement stated:
We are grateful to senior advocate Harish Salve who represented Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami. His emphatic arguments were taken note of by the Supreme Court which stated, “The specific case of the appellant is that he has been targeted because his opinions on his television channel are unpalatable to authority. Whether the appellant has established a case for quashing the FIR is something on which the High Court will take a final view when the proceedings are listed before it but we are clearly of the view that in failing to make even a prima facie evaluation of the FIR, the High Court abdicated its constitutional duty and function as a protector of liberty.”
The brazen abuse of state machinery, the overt misuse of office and the attempt to wrongly incarcerate Arnab Goswami in a case in order to extract revenge for the Republic Media Network’s relentless pursuit for truth and accountability from the state of Maharashtra and the police stand exposed.
The Supreme Court’s comprehensive judgment lays the pristine foundation for the rule of law to take its natural course and not be guided by vicious tools, vengeful intent and vindictive agendas.
This judgment by the Supreme Court is a triumph for not just a citizen and a journalist, but also for every individual fighting against a machinery of malice and malafide intent.
Republic Media Network is grateful to the judiciary for its upholding of the Constitution and every tenet imbibed within it. We are as indebted to our viewers and supporters who have been by our side in this fight for justice.
The Network will continue to march forward with the rule of law on its side as it takes on the malice ridden witch-hunt of the Maharashtra Government and its instrumentalities.
Prima Facie observations by the Supreme Court
‘PRIMA FACIE FIR DOES NOT ESTABLISH INGREDIENTS OF OFFENCE OF ABETMENT OF SUICIDE’
PARA 59: In this batch of cases, a prima facie evaluation of the FIR does not establish the ingredients of the offence of abetment of suicide under Section 306 of the IPC. The appellants are residents of India and do not pose a flight risk during the investigation or the trial.
‘PRIMA FACIE, CANNOT BE SAID APPELLANT WAS GUILTY OF ABETTING THE SUICIDE’
PARA 55:Prima facie, on the application of the test which has been laid down by this Court in a consistent line of authority which has been noted above, it cannot be said that the appellant was guilty of having abetted the suicide within the meaning of Section 306 of the IPC.
‘PRIMA FACIE FIR DOES NOT ESTABLISH INGREDIENTS OF SECTION 302 OF THE IPC’
PARA 59: In this batch of cases, a prima facie evaluation of the FIR does not establish the ingredients of the offence of abatement of suicide under Section 306 of the IPC.
Big observations on campaign of malice
SC TAKES COGNISANCE OF SUBMISSION THAT ‘APPELLANT MADE TARGET AS PART OF A SERIES OF OCCURRENCES SINCE APRIL 2020’
PARA 60: In the present case, the High Court could not but have been cognizant of the specific ground which was raised before it by the appellant that he was being made a target as a part of a series of occurrences which have been taking place since April 2020.
‘DUTY OF COURTS TO ENSURE CRIMINAL LAW DOESN’T BECOME WEAPON FOR SELECTIVE HARASSMENT’
PARA 60: Equally it is the duty of courts across the spectrum – the district judiciary, the High Courts and the Supreme Court – to ensure that the criminal law does not become a weapon for the selective harassment of citizens.
‘COURTS SHOULD ENSURE LAW DOES NOT BECOME A RUSE FOR TARGETED HARASSMENT’
PARA 60: Courts should be alive to both ends of the spectrum – the need to ensure the proper enforcement of criminal law on the one hand and the need, on the other, of ensuring that the law does not become a ruse for targeted harassment.
‘SC DOORS CANNOT BE CLOSED WHERE PRIMA FACIE INSTRUMENTALITY OF STATE IS BEING WEAPONISED’
PARA 61: The doors of this Court cannot be closed to a citizen who is able to establish prima facie that the instrumentality of the State is being weaponized for using the force of criminal law. Our courts must ensure that they continue to remain the first line of defense against the deprivation of the liberty of citizens.
‘COURTS MUST BE ALIVE TO MISUSE OF CRIMINAL LAW’
PARA 60: On the other hand, the misuse of the criminal law is a matter of which the High Court and the lower Courts in this country must be alive
SC SETS MASSIVE PRECEDENT ON PERSONAL LIBERTY
‘DEPRIVATION OF LIBERTY FOR A SINGLE DAY IS ONE DAY TOO MANY’
PARA 61: Deprivation of liberty even for a single day is one day too many. We must always be mindful of the deeper systemic implications of our decisions.
‘NEED TO EXPAND FOOTPRINT OF LIBERTY’
PARA 65: It is our earnest hope that our courts will exhibit acute awareness to the need to expand the footprint of liberty and use our approach as a decision-making yardstick for future cases involving the grant of bail.
‘LIBERTY IS NOT A GIFT FOR THE FEW’
PARA 65: Liberty is not a gift for the few. Administrative judges in charge of districts must also use the facility to engage with the District judiciary and monitor pendency.
‘COURTS MUST BE ALIVE TO SITUATION AS IT PREVAILS ON THE GROUND’
PARA 63: Courts must be alive to the situation as it prevails on the ground – in the jails and police stations where human dignity has no protector. As judges, we would do well to remind ourselves that it is through the instrumentality of bail that our criminal justice system‘s primordial interest in preserving the presumption of innocence finds its most eloquent expression.
‘REMEDY OF BAIL IS THE – SOLEMN EXPRESSION OF THE HUMANENESS OF THE JUSTICE SYSTEM’
PARA 63: The remedy of bail is the ―solemn expression of the humaneness of the justice system
SC takes note of arguments by senior advocate Harish Salve
‘GROUND RAISED BY APPELLANT HE WAS MADE A TARGET AS PART OF A SERIES OF OCCURRENCES SINCE APRIL 2020’
In the present case, the High Court could not but have been cognizant of the specific ground which was raised before it by the appellant that he was being made a target as a part of a series of occurrences which have been taking place since April 2020.
‘CASE OF APPELLANT IS HE HAS BEEN TARGETED BECAUSE HIS OPINIONS ON HIS TELEVISION CHANNEL ARE UNPALATABLE TO AUTHORITY’
PARA 60: The specific case of the appellant is that he has been targeted because his opinions on his television channel are unpalatable to authority.
HARISH SALVE ARGUED, ‘THE DEFAULT RULE IS ‘BAIL, NOT JAIL‘’
PARA 24: Mr. Salve finally submitted that the interest in preserving the procedural hierarchy of courts must give way to the need to protect the appellant‘s personal liberty given the well settled legal position that the default rule is ‘bail, not jail‘.
HARISH SALVE ARGUED, ‘MADE A TARGET OF VENDETTA OF THE STATE GOVERNMENT’
PARA 24: On the basis of the above submissions, it has been urged that the appellant has been made a target of the vendetta of the State government, which emerges from the successive events adverted to above which have taken place since April 2020.
Message from Team Republic from the office of Arnab, Vikas and Sundaram
Today at 1030 am the Supreme Court of India delivered a historic verdict in our favour. The verdict raised serious questions over the denial of bail to Arnab Goswami and his incarceration in jail. We are deeply grateful to the Supreme Court of India. The honourable court raised questions in the manner in which section 306 had been applied, without due diligence to arrest and jail Arnab. The court also made an observation that this is a case where the the criminal justice system has been incorrectly applied. This is not just a victory of Republic it is a victory of citizens of India. It is also a victory of all those who fought for us and prayed for us when the state machinery was misused to try and crush us. Now that this incarceration is behind us we want to thank you for all your prayers and support to team Republic. We look forward to working with all of you to strengthen our partnership. 🙏🙏
Arnab’s fist statement after Supreme Court’s judgement
I am overwhelmed with the judgement of the Supreme Court. The case against me was false and fabricated. Today’s judgement proves that I was incarcerated illegally. Today’s judgement proves that vendetta and malice have no place in our society. The Supreme Court has stood by the people of India. The words of the Supreme Court today will go down in history. The Maharashtra Government and the Mumbai Police should immediately stop their vicious misuse of the law to target Republic.
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