The Supreme Court is hearing a second petition filed by Republic TV Editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami where the news anchor has sought quashing of an FIR registered against him, this time in relation to the Bandra's migrant incident of April.
The Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah has taken the matter up for hearing via video conferencing. The anchor is praying that the Court direct the Mumbai Police to not take cognizance of the FIR registered against him.
A fresh FIR was registered against Goswami based on the complaint by Secretary of Raza Educational Welfare Society, Irfan Abubakar Shaikh. Goswami is accused of disturbing communal harmony through his flagship debate show on the Hindi news channel, Republic Bharat where he allegedly communalised the Bandra migrant incident.
After the nation-wide lockdown was extended on April 14, a large gathering of people had assembled in Mumbai's Bandra, in what appeared to be a gathering of migrants hopeful of returning home.
According to the petition, Goswami, in his debate show, called this incident a "conspiracy" and labelled the migrants as "actors" who were planted by people with "vested interests".
In relation to this debate show, an FIR was filed against Arnab Goswami. He was accused under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including Section 153, dealing with provocation with the intent to cause riot; Section 153A, on promoting enmity between groups; and 295A, which deals with outraging religious feelings of any class of citizens, among others. Other Sections invoked against Goswami are Sections 500, 505 (2), 511 and 120 B of the IPC.
Goswami has moved the Supreme Court seeking for this FIR to be quashed and for a blanket direction that no cognizance of any complaint be taken by any court on any FIR registered by the police on the same cause of action as in the present writ petition.