Plea in HC against Arnab Goswami on disrupting harmony

Plea in Bombay High Court against Arnab Goswami for 'bid to disrupt harmony'

Congress MLC Bhai Jagtap on Friday filed a petition in the Bombay High Court seeking a case to be registered against Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami and his channel for trying to disrupt communal harmony and defame Congress president Sonia Gandhi through his show on the channel.

The petition filed by Jagtap and Suraj Thakur, Maharashtra state vice president of the Indian Youth Congress, raised concerns over a segment 'Puchta hai Bharat' aired on Republic TV on April 21, in which the anchor (Goswami) unabashedly attempted to paint the Palghar lynching incident as "political and religiously backed".

"The petitioners are urging for FIR to be registered against Arnab Goswami and Republic TV for promoting enmity between religious groups. The respondent (Goswami) twisted the Palghar lynching incident and gave it a communal colour despite the government and police saying that there was no communal angle in it," the plea said.

Goswami engaged in countless unfounded religious and political insinuations and also made some unfavourable remarks against Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi, the petition said.

"The verbal attacks made by Goswami are prejudicial to the maintenance of order in society, especially in such a time when the whole nation is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Such drama on news channels is exceptionally toxic when there is not a single shred of communal, religious or political involvement in the killing of the two Hindu seers at Palghar," the petition said.

The petition also sought a direction restricting Goswami from appearing on the news channel or any other news channel until the investigation against him is complete.

Several cases were filed against Goswami in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Telangana, Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir following the April 21 programme.

Goswami on Thursday approached the Supreme Court seeking interim protection from arrest and quashing of all the FIRs lodged against him.

The apex court on Friday granted Goswami three weeks protection from any coercive action against him by police.