The Bombay High Court on Friday kept for further hearing on Saturday a habeas corpus plea by Republic TV Managing Director and Chief Editor Arnab Goswami, challenging his arrest by the Maharashtra Police in an abetment of suicide case and seeking interim bail.
The court will also hear a plea filed by Adnya Naik, daughter of the architect Anvay Naik, who along with his mother Kumud Naik, had committed suicide at their bungalow in Alibaug, Raigad, on May 5, 2018. She has sought a reinvestigation into the case or transferring it to an independent agency.
Since the hearings – in which Goswami’s lawyers Harish Salve and Abad Ponda made a strong plea for releasing him on bail – could not be completed, it will continue on Saturday before a division bench of Justice S.S. Shinde and Justice M.S. Karnik.
This will be a rare hearing by the Bombay HC on a weekly holiday as normally courts remain closed during weekends.
During the hearing on Friday, the judges pointed out that the usual practice for seeking bail is to approach the lower courts – either the magistrate court or the sessions court – and approach the high court only if bail is denied there.
Pleading that Goswami’s liberty was at stake, Salve said that the Code of Criminal Procedure’s Section 439 has given the high court special powers to hear bail pleas.
Goswami was nabbed from his Worli residence in a dramatic operation by the Mumbai Police and Raigad police on November 4 morning and whisked off to Raigad.
Late that night, he was sent to judicial custody for 14 days by Alibaug Court Chief Judicial Magistrate Sunaina Pingle, who observed that the arrest appeared to be illegal.
Two other accused in the same case — Feroze Shaikh and Nitesh Sarda — were also sent to judicial custody. They, along with Goswami, had allegedly defaulted on payments which reportedly led to the double suicide of the Naik mother-son duo, and have challenged their arrest.
The police have challenged the Alibaug court orders, while Goswami has challenged the police action and the FIR against him in the double-suicide case, before the Bombay HC.
Based on a complaint by Akshata Naik, the widow of late architect, the Alibaug police had registered the FIR in 2018 after her husband (Anvay) and mother-in-law (Kumud Naik) committed suicide on May 5 that year.
In a suicide note, Anvay Naik had named three persons – Republic TV’s Goswami for defaulting on a payment of Rs 83 lakh, Shaikh of IcastX/Skimedia of Rs 4 crore and Sarda of Smartworks for not paying Rs 55 lakh.
Big crackdown: Delhi Police bust several arms syndicates ahead of R-Day
In a crackdown, Delhi Police have busted several illegal arms supply syndicates that may have emerged as a security threat in the national capital ahead of Republic Day celebrations.
In just past five days, police have arrested 6 notorious arms dealers who used to supply illegal arms and ammunition to the gangsters of Delhi, out of which the last was been found to have illegal financial links with subversive modules based abroad.
In the first operation, the Special Cell on January 21 announced arrest of a wanted arms dealer who supplied weapons to conspirators, who plotted to kill a Delhi-based Kashmiri Pandit. The accused, identified as Haji Shamim alias Shamim Pistol, was a notorious illegal arms supplier and had been supplying illegal arms for more than 15 years.
First arrested in an illegal arms case in 2007, he deals in sophisticated arms including foreign-made arms.
The dconspiracy to kill the Kashmiri Pandit social activist was hatched by a person named Randeep, who has been absconding since 2014 and is hiding abroad. It was learnt that he runs an international drug cartel and enjoys the support of Pakistan. In this whole conspiracy, weapons were arranged by Shamim.
The second operation was conducted on January 22 in which an illegal arms factory that was manufacturing around 1,000 weapons per year was busted by the Delhi Police in Uttar Pradesh’s Aligarh district and one man was apprehended in this connection. The details about the arms factory were revealed during the interrogation of notorious arms supplier Shakil alias Sherni, who was arrested earlier that week after an encounter with the Special Staff of Outer North district. The apprehended accused, identified as Ravi Mahor, was making illegal arms in a shop being used as a manufacturing unit.
“Several raw materials used in the manufacturing of arms were recovered such as barrels, triggers, the body of arms, etc along with Khairat machine, bits used in the machine, Bhatti, Okhli, gripper, etc were recovered,” Deputy Commissioner of Police, Outer North district, Brijendra Kumar Yadav had told IANS.
In the third operation, two notorious arms suppliers of the infamous Neeraj Bawana and Tillu Tajpuriya gang were arrested by the Special Cell. The accused were identified as Manish, 25, a resident of Bawana, Delhi and Shokeen, 38, a resident of Shamli, UP. It was learnt that the Delhi gangsters were procuring illegal arms and ammunition from these weapons suppliers. A total of 27 illegal firearms and live cartridges were recovered from the accused persons at the time of their arrests.
According to the police, in the past year, accused Manish has supplied more than 30 illegal firearms along with ammunition to different members of the Neeraj Bawana and Tillu gang. Both Neeraj Bawana and Sunil Mann alias Tillu Tajpuriya are dreaded gangsters currently lodged at different jails in the national capital.
In the latest operation, just one day ahead of Republic Day, the Special Cell said they have busted an interstate illegal arms racket and arrested its two key members. Notably, the racket was having illegal financial links with terror modules based abroad. The arrested accused were identified as Ravi Khan, 40, a resident of Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh, and Rahul Singh Chhabda alias Rahul Sikhligar, 23, a resident of district Dhar in Madhya Pradesh. A total of 25 semi-automatic pistols were recovered, with their mobile phone and SIM cards used in the offense.
According to DCP, Special Cell, Rajiv Ranjan Singh, Chhabda and his associates were supplying illegal weapons in UP and Delhi NCR from the areas of Khargone, Dhar, Badwani, and Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh. Chhabda used to procure illegal pistols from suppliers of his village and nearby areas and further supply the same to criminals of Delhi, UP, Haryana and Rajasthan directly himself or through co-accused Ravi Khan and others.
Upon further interrogation of the accused persons, it was also revealed that accused Chhabda was having links with some foreign-based modules, who were involved in subversive and Hawala activities. It was also revealed that he had received huge money from such modules through illegal channels.
Explosives recovered in J&K’s Kishtwar
A joint team of Indian Army and J&K Police has recovered commercial grade explosives from Kishtwar district, a statement said on Tuesday.
“A joint team of the security forces including the army and local police has recovered approximately 1.3 kg of commercial grade explosives in general area of Nagar Nala near Dul in district Kishtwar (J&K) on January 24, 2022.
“The recovery included 11 sticks of commercial grade explosives (each weighing 125 gms), one detonator and also the detonating wire,” a defence statement said.
Raj man held with unaccounted Rs 1.88 crore cash, gold in K’taka
A man from Rajasthan was arrested on Tuesday on charges of transporting unaccounted Rs 1.48 crore worth gold and Rs 40 lakh cash in Mangaluru, Karnataka.
During a preventive check ahead of Republic Day, personnel of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) attached to Mangaluru Junction Railway Station nabbed Mahendra Singh Rao, a resident of Udaipur, while he was travelling on the Mumbai-LTT-Ernakulam Duronto Express.
The 36-year-old accused has been handed over to the Government Railway Police, Mangaluru Central, along with the gold and money. The currency found is in the denominations of Rs 2,000 and Rs 500.
The man was caught when RPF personnel checked his bag and found the cash wrapped in newspapers.
The accused claimed that he received the gold and cash from a person in Mumbai referred by his employer Praveen Singh.
Singh allegedly owns Shubh Gold in Kozhikode. Further investigation is on.
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