In a brief respite to Republic TV boss Arnab Goswami, the Supreme Court on Friday granted him protection from coercive action for three weeks in various cases filed against him over remarks made during a television discussion on lynching in Maharashtra’s Palghar.
According to a Hindustan Times report, the bench of justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah also issued notices to the Centre, governments of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana and union territory of Jammu and Kashmir where cases have been registered against Goswami.
The court also stayed all FIRs against him except the one registered at Sadar Police Station in Nagpur.
It transferred the FIR in Nagpur to Mumbai where it will be investigated.
The bench also ordered Mumbai Police Commissioner to provide security to Goswami and Republic TV office.
The FIRs were filed for hate speeches and for defamation of Congress president Sonia Gandhi for remarks made by Goswami during his primetime show on the Hindi language channel of his Republic TV which aired on April 21.
Goswami had moved the Supreme Court on Thursday seeking a stay on the FIRs.
Goswami hosted a discussion on the Palghar lynching case on his TV channel which, he said in his plea before the Supreme Court, questioned the tardy investigation, inconsistent versions of the authorities and the administration and the state government’s silence on the incident.
Goswami accused the Congress, which is part of the government in Maharashtra, of leading a well-coordinated, widespread, vindictive and malicious campaign against him.
Goswami claimed that the FIRs registered against him are false and vindictive and have been done by the Congress activists to harass and intimidate him and dissuade him from conducting investigative journalism and bringing the truth before the public.
Notably, Goswami was attacked on Thursday while he was coming back to his home from office with his wife.
The Republic TV chief has filed a police complaint in which he said that the attack took place around 12:15 am.