Arnab Goswami

In a relief to Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday suspended two FIRs lodged against him by Mumbai police.

The FIRs were lodged for his alleged provocative and inflammatory comments on the Palghar mob lynching and gathering of migrant workers outside Bandra railway station.

A division bench of Justices Ujjal Bhuyan and Riyaz Chagla, in an interim order, noted that prima facie, no offence was disclosed against Goswami and he had not intended to cause public disharmony or incite violence.

The court, while admitting the petition filed by Goswami, directed the police to not take any coercive action until final hearing and disposal of the plea.

Advocates Kapil Sibal and Raja Thakare, appearing for the Maharashtra government, had opposed the petition.

They said a journalist has the right to freedom of expression, but does not have the right to declare that a person was killed only because he was of a particular religion.

On June 12, the High Court  had extended protection from coercive action to Goswami until further orders and reserved its order on his plea.

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