Mumbai : It’s a major relief for the Republic TV anchor Arnab Goswami that on Friday the top court of the country granted protection him from arrest in the state assembly breach of privilege motion case and issued a show-cause notice to Secretary of the legislative assembly for his letter to the journalist purportedly cautioning him against disclosing house notice to the Supreme Court.
Making strong observation, the Apex Court also directed the secretary of the state legislative assembly to appear before the Apex Court and explain why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him for the letter authored by him to Republic Media Network’s Editor-in-Chief Goswami for disclosing the privilege notice to the top court of the country.
The secretary of the state Assembly wrote a letter on October 13 this year warning of contempt over Arnab disclosing privilege committee missives in moving the Supreme Court, the Apex Court observed ‘we have a serious question on the author of this letter and we find it extremely difficult to overlook this.’ ‘How dare he say this, what is Article 32 for?’ the court observed.
“The intention of the author of the letter seems to be to be to intimidate the petitioner because he approached this court,” the Supreme Court said, adding, “The above statements are unprecedented and have a tendency to bring the administration of Justice into disrepute.”
The 60-page privilege notice against Arnab Goswami was sent after privilege motions were moved against him by Shiv Sena MLAs in both houses in Maharashtra. The notice said that Arnab Goswami has breached the privileges of the Legislative Assembly of Maharashtra, and has threatened to jail him if he does not apologise.
Giving the Maharashtra Assembly Secretary two weeks’ notice to show cause as to why contempt should not be issued against him in terms of Article 129 of the Constitution of India, Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said that in the meanwhile, “petitioner (Arnab Goswami) will not be arrested in pursuance of the present proceedings.”