Why Arnab is not released on bail today?

Arnab Goswami was arrested yesterday morning by an encounter specialist of Mumbai Police. In the evening when he was produced before the Magistrate, he refused to extend police custody and remanded Arnab to Judicial Custody. Remember Police has no access to Prisons which is managed by a different Department of State Government.

Republic TV itself pronounced that his bail would be heard today at 3 PM and after hearing it has been announced court will resume hearing at 3 PM tomorrow when it will also consider the question of interim bail. It was also shown in the tracker that hearing was taking place a division bench of two learned judges of Bombay High Court. (The name has not been changed by the High Court so far.)

It appears from the web site of HIgh Court (https://bombayhighcourt.nic.in) that Arnab has not filed any petition for bail.

Instead he has filed a writ petition (WPST/4132/2020) in the nature of habeas corpus challenging that the entire criminal process initiated by Mumbai police and his custody is illegal. In that writ petition he has also sought for interim bail. This is the reason he was not granted bail today as the court after hearing the matter has asked the Mumbai Police to make submission tomorrow.

Thus the right to seek bail in the criminal case has not been exercised by the Arnab Goswami. If he fails in this petition, it will not affect that right which is available to every accused.

It is a good strategy and a long term strategy. If Arnab Goswami wins, the egg will be all over the face of the Government of Maharashtra.

In all likelihood, Arnab may succeed as Mumbai police has broken judicial discipline by starting to investigate a closed case without concurrence of the Magistrate and going ahead to arrest people in the closed case.

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