Bandra Incident FIR
Bandra Incident FIR
Litigation News

FIR No. 2: Arnab moves Supreme Court in Bandra incident; accuses Police of malice and ill will, and Congress of "fabricated migrant crisis"

Shruti Mahajan

A day after the State of Maharashtra moved the Supreme Court against him, Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami has filed a petition seeking quashing of a fresh FIR filed against him.

A fresh FIR was registered yesterday against Goswami 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".

Bandra incident as shown on Republic TV
Bandra incident as shown on Republic TV

Goswami questioned why such a large gathering had assembled near a mosque at a time when physical distancing ought to be maintained and hinted at the incident being a conspiracy by the minority community.

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.

He has also sought a restraint against the "servant and agents" of the State of Maharashtra from filing any FIR against him in relation to his debate programs on the issue of the Bandra incident.

Congress Party Ecosystem

In his petition, Goswami has claimed that the Congress Party ecosystem also tried to build a fake narrative of a fabricated migrant crisis in Mumbai.

In his petition, he claims that Republic TV was the first channel to report the fact that political interest groups, mainly leaders of the Congress, were spreading fake news and orchestrating lockdown violations in Mumbai, which is a matter of national concern.

Petition before the Supreme Court
Petition before the Supreme Court

Mumbai Police

Goswami claims that the FIR is "politically motivated" and goes on to claim that same has been registered as the Mumbai Police "harbours ill will" against him.

"The FIR is politically motivated and has been registered as the Mumbai police harbors ill-will and malice towards the Petitioner as evident from the manner in which investigation is being conducted by the Mumbai police (in the defamation case filed by Congress worker)."
Arnab Goswami in his petition

Goswami's petition says that since the Police realises that the anchor could not be "framed" in the case relating to objectionable comments made against Sonia Gandhi, a new FIR has now been registered. The plea reads,

"...the Mumbai Police, has registered the FIR based on a complaint filed by the Respondent No 3 (Irfan Abubakar Shaikh), which is patently false, vindictive, frivolous, malicious and precipitated with malice."

Goswami re-asserts in his petition that the Bandra incident was a "fake migrant crisis" that he "unearthed" through his debate program.

He has also sought for adequate security to be provided to his family and his colleagues at Republic TV. In his previous petition, he had also sought for protection from the Central government.

Prayer Sought by Arnab Goswami
Prayer Sought by Arnab Goswami

[Read the FIR filed against Arnab Goswami at Pydhonie Police Station]

Arnab FIR (1).pdf
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