Stating that an attack on the fourth estate without evidence shakes faith in good governance, a Delhi-based lawyer has filed a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) over the “unlawful” arrest of journalist Arnab Goswami.
Advocate Siddharth Nayak, Managing Partner of Atharva Legal LLP, has filed the complaint seeking to initiate action against the Mumbai Police and the Raigad Police. The complaint alleges that the police should be held responsible for the “blatant and brazenly illegitimate action of arresting Goswami under Section 306 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code 1860 with regard to a suicide case registered and closed in 2018.”
Nayak states that Goswami was forcibly dragged by his hair into the police van before being arrested by Raigad Police in Maharashtra. “The police forcibly shut off news cameras before barging into the residence of Mr Goswami and attacking and thrashing a reputed national TV news journalist. The police even went to levels of misbehaving with Mr Goswami’s elderly parents, in-laws, and assaulting his son.”
Complaint filed with NHRC
NHRC has further been informed that no summons were served by the police before arresting Goswami and that he was also denied all legal or medical assistance “despite his injuries in the physical assault perpetrated by the Police”.
Levelling allegations against the police officer leading the team that arrested Goswami today, Nayak states that Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Hindurao Waze, is an “infamous ‘encounter specialist’ who holds the blighted disrepute of as many as 63 extra-judicial murders”.
The Mumbai Police had investigated and closed the case lodged against Goswami back in 2018, and had stated in a court of law that no case was made out.
Despite this, the complainant states, as per news sources, the Maharashtra Police Director General “did not approve with the CID Chief on Mr Goswami’s arrest”. Therefore, it is alleged that Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Mumbai Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh met over the issue and the Superintendent of Police, Raigad was directly given orders from the CM’s office for Goswami’s arrest.
The complaint goes on to state,
“Attack on the Fourth Estate without any evidence or verifiable facts, on the basis of closed case being reopened with the sole aim to make an unwarranted illegitimate arrest of Goswami is extremely shocking to the point that it shakes India’s belief in good governance and policing.”
The Raigad Police has sought 14 days’ custody of Goswami in connection with the 2018 abetment to suicide case. For which the court has remanded him a 14 day judicial custody till November 18
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