When arguing in the High Court for quashing the case against Republic TV, senior advocate Harish Salve pleaded for protection for Arnab Goswami, chief Editor, by explaining how Mumbai Police was maliciously acting against the channel. It appears the courts are yet to take serious view of the vendetta angle.
Look at the series of events so far:
- On 8th October 2020, Mumbai Police Commissioner calls for a press conference and specifically mentions Republic TV and went on giving interviews in the rival channels like India Today, which readily painted Republic as accused.
- Republic TV then published a copy of the FIR which has the mention of India Today and not Republic TV. Obviously, the Police Commissioner deliberately omitted mentioning India Today in his press conference.
- Republic TV then published a copy of the Hansa research report on the alleged malpractices which mentions India Today many times, not even once Republic TV.
- It also came to light that BARC has found India Today violating the rules and was fined 5 lakhs; India Today admitted the same.
- Republic TV publishes a copy of the email from BARC which confirms there was no wrong doings found against the channel.
- Republic TV senior editors and officials are summoned and held in the police station hours and hours on end for “questioning”.
- Republic TV releases a sting in which a Congress politician speaks how the authorities have targeted republic.
- Republic TV releases a sting in which Maharashtra minister claims Arnab Goswami may be so much frustrated that he might even commit suicide.
- Probably to prevent the CBI take-over of the case, Maharashtra government withdraws consent to CBI takeover of cases from the state.
The above events clearly show how Republic TV is being systematically targeted. Hope the courts take note of the events to stop the intimidation and ensure freedom of media.