New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami has been released from Navi Mumbai's Taloja jail following a Supreme Court order that overturned Bombay High Court's verdict which dismissed his interim bail plea in 2018 abetment to suicide case. The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the release of Republic TV's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami and other co-accused in the abetment to suicide case from 2018 on a bond of Rs 50,000, in which the journalist along with two other associates was arrested on November 4. 

The top court also ordered the Mumbai Police Commissioner to ensure that the order of Arnab's release shall be followed immediately. 

Earlier in the day, the top court questioned the Maharashtra government in connection with Goswami's abetment to suicide case, and said that it would be a 'travesty of justice if the personal liberty of a person is curtailed like this'. A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court, comprising of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee, is hearing Arnab Goswami's plea challenging the Bombay High Court's order refusing him interim bail.

The bench also asked the Maharashtra government whether Arnab Goswami's case requires custodial interrogation, and said that "they are dealing with the issue of personal liberty". The bench observed that Indian democracy is “extraordinarily resilient” and the Maharashtra government must ignore all this (Arnab's taunt on TV).

“Whatever be his ideology, least I don't even watch his channel but if in this case constitutional court's do not interfere today, we are travelling the path of destruction undeniably,” Justice Chandrachud said, adding, “the point is can you deny personal liberty of a person on these allegations”.

Pulling up the High Courts over their inability to protect the personal liberty of an individual, the top court remarked, "We are seeing case after case where HCs are not granting bail and failing to protect the personal liberty of people".

The Supreme Court also expressed concerns over state targeting individuals on the basis of ideology, differences of opinion and said that "state governments target individuals, they must realise there is apex court to protect the liberty of citizens". 

On senior lawyer Harish Salve's arguments, who was appearing for Arnab Goswami, that 'the power to re-investigation in the case has been wrongly used' and 'how can it be abetment to suicide when a person who was in financial difficulty and committed suicide', the top court said that to make out a case of abetment there has to active incitement and encouragement.

Justice Chandrachud also asked senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, who was appearing for Maharashtra government, that 'if it is a case of abetment, if money is owed to a person'.

"We are dealing with personal liberty here and because he was owed money, Naik committed suicide due to financial stress. Is this a case of custodial questioning?... Assuming the FIR is the gospel truth and that is a matter of investigation but is not paying up money abetment to suicide? It will be a travesty of justice if bail is not granted while FIR is pending," Justice Chandrachud noted.

On November 4, Goswami was arrested in connection with the 2018 suicide case. Later, he was sent to 14-day judicial custody by a lower court later that day.

The suicide case, in which a closure report was filed in 2019, was reopened after Naik's wife Akshata approached a court. In September this year, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had ordered a re-investigation into the case after a fresh complaint by Naik's daughter.

(With ANI Inputs)

Posted By: Talib Khan