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SC rejects Arnab Goswami's plea seeking CBI probe into FIR against him, extends protection by three weeks

SC rejects Arnab Goswamis plea seeking CBI probe into FIR against him, extends protection by three weeks

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected journalist Arnab Goswami's petition for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into various cases pertaining to hate speech pertaining to his remarks on the Palghar lynching incident. The court allowed the Mumbai Police to continue with its probe into the case.

The bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud also refused to quash the May 2 FIR registered against Goswami for allegedly hurting religious sentiments by making derogatory remarks against a religious community during the broadcast on migrants gathered in Bandra on his channel Republic TV. It directed Goswami to pursue his remedies before a competent court.

The apex court, however, extended protection from arrest to Goswami for another three weeks. It asked the Mumbai Police Commissioner to ensure protection to Goswami. On April 24, on Goswami's plea, the court had granted him protection from arrest that expired this week. In that order, the court had also stayed multiple FIRs in relation to the same broadcast related to Palghar lynching incident. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court bench maintained its earlier order which clubbed all FIRs pertaining to the broadcast of April 21 to be probed under a single FIR. This FIR registered at Nagpur Sadar police station was transferred to NM Joshi Marg police station in Mumbai.

The top court had on May 11 directed that no coercive action should be taken against Goswami in the fresh FIR lodged by Mumbai Police and had reserved its verdict on both of his petitions.

Goswami had claimed in the top court that he was interrogated by Mumbai Police for over 12 hours with regard to FIR on alleged defamatory statements and one of the two investigating officers probing the case against him has tested positive for Covid-19. He alleged of being politically victimised for speaking against Congress chief Sonia Gandhi during his broadcast.

The Maharashtra government too moved the apex court alleging that Goswami has been misusing protection granted by the top court and "browbeating" the police by "creating fear psychosis". The state government requested the Supreme Court to insulate its probe from interference by Goswami.

The FIR against Goswami pertains to hate speech and promoting enmity between religious groups.

(Input and image from hindustantimes.com)

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