In Arnab Goswami bail order, SC says Bombay HC abdicated role as protector of constitutional values

In Arnab Goswami bail order, SC says Bombay HC abdicated role as protector of constitutional values

Courts across the country “should be alive to…the need to ensure the proper enforcement of criminal law on the one hand and the need, on the other, of ensuring that the law does not become a ruse for targeted harassment”, the Supreme Court said Friday while concluding that the Bombay High Court had “abdicated” its responsibility while dealing Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami’s plea in the Anway Naik abetment to suicide case.

“Liberty across human eras is as tenuous as tenuous can be. Liberty survives by the vigilance of her citizens, on the cacophony of the media and in the dusty corridors of courts alive to the rule of (and not by) law. Yet, much too often, liberty is a casualty when one of these components is found wanting”, a bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee said in its detailed order on Goswami’s plea challenging the HC order denying bail to him in the case.

Goswami had earlier moved the HC seeking quashing of the FIR in the case and seeking interim bail.

On November 11, the SC had given bail to Goswami and two others who were arrested by the Mumbai police in connection with the case notwithstanding stiff opposition from the Maharashatra government. Friday’s detailed order said the bail will continue till the HC disposes of the matter and for four more weeks thereafter “should it become necessary for all or any of them to take further recourse to their remedies in accordance with law”.

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