SC said that Arnab will not be arrested till the case is in HC, even if the order is adverse

Republic TV sends legal notice to Indian Express for the story on Arnab Goswami

The Supreme Court today said that Republic TV Editor Arnab Goswami will not be arrested till his case is pending before the high court in terms of its November 11 order. The court also said that even if the order of HC is adverse, he and his two other associates will be given protection for four more weeks. The court was announcing today its verdict of granting bail to Arnab and said that the FIR against Arnab did not establish case of abetment to suicide prima facie. The court further said that the Bombay HC failed to take view of the FIR and was at fault for not granting bail in the said FIR.

Justice DY Chandrachud said that- “We have perused over Section 306 of IPC. It cannot be said that the appellants had abetted the suicide of the head of the architectural firm. The HC said the justification to quash has to be exercised carefully. The ingredients of offence was not established and due to that HC failed to exercise its poer under Section 482 and thus failed also under Article 226 of the Constitution.

Justice Chandrachud also said that the appellants are residents of India and don’t post flight risk, nor can they tamper with evidence. We have also added a section on human liberty and role of courts: Section 482 recognizes powers of the HC to give effect to other provisions of CrPC.

Justice DY Chandrachud said that- “The High Court should not foreclose itself from the exercise of the power when a citizen has been arbitrarily deprived of their personal liberty in an excess of state power. 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. 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 SC while hearing the application for grant of bail under article 226said that the High Court must consider the settled factors which emerge from the precedents of this Court. These factors are as follows:-

  1. The nature of the alleged offence, the nature of the accusation, and the severity of the punishment in the case of a conviction;
  2. Whether there exists a reasonable apprehension of the accused tampering with the witnesses or being a threat to the complainant or the witnesses;
  3. The possibility of securing the presence of the accused at the trial or the likelihood of the accused fleeing from justice;
  4. The antecedents of and circumstances which are peculiar to the accused;
  5. Whether prima facie the ingredients of the offence are made out, on the basis of the allegations as they stand, in the FIR;
  6. The significant interests of the public or the State and other similar considerations.