Bad News For Maharashtra Government:
Arnab Goswami, the Editor of Republic TV has been granted bail by the Supreme Court yesterday. That is bad news for the autocratic Government of Maharashtra but there is more bad news. Supreme Court has not disposed off the petition and as per web site of Supreme Court SLP(Crl) No. 005598 – 005598/2020 (Crl.A. No. 000742 – 000742/2020) is still pending. It means a detailed order shall be passed later on. Order of Supreme Court dated 11 November granting bail to Arnab can be read here.
It is good that Supreme Court took notice of the grave error committed by the High Court which is the last sentinel of Constitutional Rights in a State. The Order dated 9th November 2020 passed by Maharashtra (Bombay) High Court is a classic example of how judgment should not be written. As rightly observed by the Supreme Court, in the course of hearing that High Court had time to write 57 pages of judgment on various issues but it did not consider the question of personal liberty even for once. Not once did the High Court asked the police why it arrested Arnab in a two years old case, suddenly. It did not pose the question that Bail is the rule and Jail is an exception. It did not ask for subjective satisfaction of the Investigating Officer recording need to arrest the accused. Worse, even yesterday, the State of Maharashtra could not and did not claim that Arnab was a security threat or that he was a flight risk.
Today is third day of Arnab in prison. The arguments are continuing in Bombay High Court. Yes it is still called Bombay High Court and not Mumbai. The arguments today commenced at 12 noon and are still continuing. Conspiracy theories are being hurled on social media. But that is ignorance.
It was pointed out yesterday, that Arnab is pursuing habeas corpus petition before division bench of High Court seeking quashing of proceedings and by way of interim order he has sought interim bail.
If Arnab had sought regular bail, it was ten minute job. He would have been out by now. He could have filed the petition seeking quashing of proceedings later or simultaneously but he has chosen to sacrifice himself to press this petition.
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.
Finally it has happened. Maharashtra Police entered the house of Arnab Goswami, Editor of Republic TV and arrested him to early morning. He was allegedly assaulted too. Everything was executed in the inhuman manner forewarned by Supreme Court not to be resorted. But Governments are evil. All Governments are inherently evil. With monopoly of violence a Government Machinery when not in check can be brutal. With an editor like Arnab who was openly challenging the Government and Police Commissioner in his daily TV show, it was bound to happen. It had to happen as Rule of Law is as good as the human being, guardians of it. Rule of law is threatened by left leaning riots even in USA.
Hurt Egos and an incompetent Chief Minister:
Maharashtra is being ruled by three party coalition of people of hurt egos. Their egos is hurt by formation of Government itself as it is compromise between fire and ice. The Congress Party is now ideologically extreme Leftist and Islamist Party and it is in power in Maharashtra. The Government of Maharashtra is headed by a Chief Minister who has never held any administrative post including that of a Class Monitor. His time in office highlights that there must be a provision in the Constitution in which a person who has never held administrative positions must not be permitted to be appointed as head of Government directly.
How can Police pronounce verdict of guilt when it has not even registered an FIR and commenced investigation?
Republic TV is a free to air Indian news channel launched in May 2017. It was co-founded by and Arnab Goswami and ruling party BJP’s MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who relinquished his stake in May 2019, leaving Goswami the majority stakeholder. Mumbai Police had earlier registered an FIR and summoned Arnab and his CFO after he had called Sonia Gandhi the President of Congress Party by her maiden name Antonio Maino.
AajTak is part of India Today group which was founded with a magazine in 1975-76, during emergency when other magazines were shutting shop due to press censorship. Aroon Purie was founder of this magzine though he was named as publisher and his father as owner. Read about Aroon Purie, here on wikipedia.
On 2 February 2019, Arnab launched Republic Bharat as it Hindi Channel in direct conflict with Aaj Tak which was number one on TRP ratings. Both Channels are engaged in TRP war for last three months. While English Republic TV has acquired 77% ratings demolishing all other English news channels, it has also overtaken Hindi Aaj Tak by it’s Bharat and is at the top now for over one month. This means huge revenue fall for other TV Channels.