Supreme Court: The bench of Dr. DY Chandrachud and MR Shah, JJ has reserved it’s judgment in the petition filed by Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami, challenging the FIRs registered against him in various parts of the country for alleged defamation of Congress President Sonia Gandhi. While doing so, it directed,
“Until the judgment is pronounced by this Court, the protection which was granted to the petitioner in paragraph 13(iv) of the order dated 24 April 2020 shall continue to remain in operation.”
On April 24, 2020, the Court had granted 3 weeks of interim protection and no coercive action against the petitioner, Arnab Goswami and had further directed,
“For a period of three weeks, the petitioner shall be protected against any coercive steps arising out of and in relation to the above FIR arising out of the telecast which took place on 21 April 2020.”
Resultantly, the Court had stayed all FIRs against Arnab Goswami except one which was filed in Nagpur and which has now been transferred to Mumbai
Goswami had attacked Sonia Gandhi in one of his shows on Republic TV and had claimed that she had orchestrated the Palghar lynching in Maharashtra, where 3 Hindu religious leaders, who were on their way to Silvassa on April 16, were lynched by local residents on the suspicion that they were thieves. He questioned Sonia Gandhi’s silence over the incident and asked if she would have been quite if Muslim or Christian religious leaders would have been lynched instead of Hindu leaders.
After the incident was given a communal angle, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh shared the list of 101 people taken into custody in connection with the lynching, and said none of those arrested were Muslim. Goswami later attacked Congress for orchestrating an attack on him and his wife in Mumbai after they were returning from work.
[Arnab Ranjan Goswami v. Union of India, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 450 , order dated 11.05.2020]