SC declines Republic TV plea seeking protection from arrest for staff in all cases
New Delhi, December 7, 2020
The Supreme Court on Monday, terming the prayers of Republic TV "ambitious", declined to entertain a petition seeking directions to protect all its employees from arrest in all cases, and transfer all cases to the CBI and also a probe against Mumbai Police Commissioner.
A bench headed by Justice D. Y. Chandrachud told senior advocate Milind Sathe, representing Republic TV, "this petition is ambitious in nature".
ARG Outlier Media Private Limited, which owns Republic Media network, had moved the top court seeking protection for its employees and the group in cases registered in Maharashtra.
On November 27, the top court had extended bail of Goswami along with two others in a 2018 abetment to suicide case.
"You want Maharashtra Police not to arrest any employee... transfer the cases to CBI. You better withdraw this," said Justice Chandrachud.
Sathe submitted before the bench that the petitioner has moved the top court to stop the police from hounding the TV channel and its employees. Justice Chandrachud reiterated that the bench is not inclined to entertain the petition.
The bench noted that too many reliefs were sought in one petition, which cannot be entertained.
Sathe urged the top court to allow it to avail other remedies. After a brief hearing in the matter, the apex court allowed the petitioner to withdraw the petition and allowed the media group to approach the competent court.
The petitioner sought direction for CBI enquiry against the state government and the police for lodging scores of cases against the media group and its employees. The plea had urged the apex court to pass a direction that no editorial and other staff of the media group should be arrested by the Maharashtra police. The Mumbai police have registered a case in the alleged Television Rating Points (TRP) manipulation scam. The Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh had claimed that three channels, including Republic TV, had manipulated the TRP. These allegations have been denied by the media group.