The Rajasthan High Court on Friday granted interim protection from arrest to Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami in a case registered against him under Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for promoting enmity between religious groups..A first information report was registered on May 17 against Goswami at Ambamata Police Station in Rajasthan's Udaipur based on a complaint by Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera taking objections to certain news show/ broadcast made by Republic Bharat (Hindi channel of Republic). Goswami approached the High Court seeking quashing of the FIR. The matter was mentioned by Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethamalani before Justice Sandeep Mehta who directed the police not to take any coercive steps against individuals named in the FIR. The matter will be heard next on May 23. The plea alleged that the FIR is motivated and has been registered to harass and embroil Republic TV in legal cases. "The current FIR has been filed at the behest of Mr. Pawan Khera who is the Spokesperson, All India Congress Committee and represents the Indian National Congress in various TV talk shows, discussions/debates that are held on different news channels etc. as per his own complaint. It must be noted that in a case where the Congress Government of the state of Rajasthan was being questioned, a member of the Congress has filed a complaint. This establishes how the entire case is motivated and made to harass and embroil a legitimate news network and its members in a litany of cases," the plea said. .The news broadcast in question related to temple alleged demolition in Rajgarh and a demolition drive in Alwar. The plea by Goswami stated that the said broadcasts were aimed to ensure communal amity rather than disturb it.Regarding the alleged demolition at Rajgarh the plea said,"In fact, the channels also covered how a Muslim Group had filed a complaint naming Congress Zilla Head Yogesh Mishra for vitiating harmony in the region. Therefore, far from causing strife, Republic was exposing it." On the Alwar demolition, the programme had used the words 'Jahangirpuri ka badla?’. Goswami submitted that line was made not in reference to any community but to question if it was apolitically motivated demolition drive. "It is submitted that there was an uproar over a demolition drive in New Delhi’s Jahangirpuri on 20-21st April, 2022. This demolition was being done by the Delhi MCD which is headed by the BJP. Soon after, there was news of the Alwar Demolition in Rajashtan where there is a Congress government in power. Therefore, the question about “Jahangirpuri Ka Badla” were being raised in the context of it being a political battle over demolition," the petition said. There was no disturbance of public order in the aftermath of the broadcast, establishing that the said broadcast did not threaten or disturb peace on the ground in any way, the plea added. Allowing the proceedings to continue will have a chilling effect on free speech and would be in violation of freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a), it was contended. Besides Jethmalani, Senior Advocate Malvika Trivedi, advocates Muktesh Maheshwari, Ravi Sharma and Siya Chaudhary along with the team of Phoenix legal appeared for Goswami.