‘Isn’t This A Sword Hanging?’ :Bombay High Court Asks Mumbai Police If They Intend To Further Investigate Arnab Goswami, Republic TV In TRP Case

first_imgTop Stories’Isn’t This A Sword Hanging?’ :Bombay High Court Asks Mumbai Police If They Intend To Further Investigate Arnab Goswami, Republic TV In TRP Case Sharmeen Hakim17 March 2021 4:56 AMShare This – xThe Bombay High Court on Wednesday sought to know from the Mumbai Police if they intended to further investigate ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd and Arnab Goswami in the TRP Scam, as, even after two charge sheets, the channel was only a suspect on police records.The Court posed this query after noting that ARG and Goswami have been shown as only ‘suspects’ even after the filing of two…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Bombay High Court on Wednesday sought to know from the Mumbai Police if they intended to further investigate ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd and Arnab Goswami in the TRP Scam, as, even after two charge sheets, the channel was only a suspect on police records.The Court posed this query after noting that ARG and Goswami have been shown as only ‘suspects’ even after the filing of two chargesheets in the case. A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale said that they are hearing the petition – which seeks quashing of the TRP Scam FIR and charge sheets – on maintainability, as well as on merits, and wondered what would happen to the investigation if ARG succeeded in the petition. The court also asked the prosecution to inform them about the time required to complete their investigation in the TRP Scam. “Right now the main question is what happens to the investigation if this petition succeeds? How much time do you need?” Justice Shinde asked. When Special Public Prosecutor Shishir Hirey said he will need to take instructions and then make a statement, Justice Shinde said that the FIR was filed in October 2020, and it’s March 2021 already. “Mr Hirey in many cases we have seen, khichdi pak rahi hai for years together. Isn’t this a sword hanging on someone’s head?” The questions fell from the bench after Senior Advocate Ashok Mundargi’s submissions that even after two charge sheets there wasn’t enough material collected against Republic TV and Arnab, and the channel was only shown as a “suspect.” He submitted that it was unlikely the prosecution would say they don’t want to continue the investigation against the petitioners. “In case the court feels that the investigation can’t be stopped, the petition should be admitted and protection from coercive action should be granted because today there is no material against me.” Mundargi said the petitioners could approach the court once something concrete was found against them. Responding to his arguments Special Public Prosecutor Shishir Hirey for the Mumbai Police submitted that it was not as if there wasn’t any material against the petitioners. “If there is sufficient material why are they not made accused,” Mundargi argued. On the CP’s press conference The press conference taken by the Mumbai Police Commissioner on October 8, 2020, two days after the FIR was registered in the TRP Scam, forms the crux of the petitioner’s arguments to show the police working against them with malafide intention. In the press conference, Republic TVs was named, despite not being shown as an accused in the FIR. During the hearing, on Wednesday, Senior Advocate Mundargi said that it was only in December that the Mumbai Police officially received a copy of the forensic analysis report from BARC. “The CP was relying on this report on the October 8 press conference, how can that happen?,” Mundargi asked. Flummoxed, Justice Pitale wanted to see the relevant part of the CP’s press conference. “Here there is a clear statement referring to the analytical report which BARC has submitted,” he noted. Special Public Prosecutor Shishir Hirey said that the CP was not relying on the third-party forensic analysis commissioned by BARC but another report of BARC, which was an internal report, from January 2020. “He received the internal report just a day before the conference,” Hirey said. He added that both the reports are part of the charge sheet. ” We were not investigating the news channel, we were investigating the entire scam.” Mundargi, however, submitted that the January report is only a graph and not a forensic analysis. He insisted that the CP was referring to the forensic analysis report in the press conference which they officially received only in December 2020. Charge Sheet Mundargi then referred to accused statements attached to the charge sheet, to show that the prosecution was relying on inadmissible material against the petitioners while another channel who was initially named, was not being investigated. “So they are not going after the channels who are named?,” Justice Pitale asked. “Today they are saying there is nothing against the other channel today,” Mundargi responded. Justice Shinde then asked the Hirey to take instructions on their earlier queries and respond, on Thursday. “We are hearing 100s of matters every day. If we are not getting timely answers, we are not able to proceed. Our time from the view-point of the litigants is very important.” The bench rued about how they were expected to give reasons even for ad-interim orders. The bench said it had certain things in its mind doesn’t want to disclose, till the Mumbai Police makes a statement. The senior advocate Ashok Mundargi was assisted by advocate Niranjan Mundargi and instructed by the law firm Phoenix Legal. Next Storylast_img

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