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Supreme Cour Rejects Arnab Goswami’s Plea For Transfer Of ‘Defamation Probe’ To Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami’s plea seeking transfer of investigation of case filed against him for allegedly defaming Congress President Sonia Gandhi to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The apex court also quashed all criminal investigations related to the news show on Palghar mob-lynching except the initial one that is being probed by the Mumbai police. The court pronounced their verdict via video conferencing.

A bench headed by of Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah observed that “journalistic freedom lies at the core of freedom of speech and expression”.

The court observed the right of journalist under Article 19 (1) (a) is at a higher level and that India”s freedom of press stays as long as journalists can speak truth to power, but this freedom is not absolute.

SC also granted protection to Goswami from any coercive action for three more weeks from today.

The court also said that he can approach the competent court for quashing of the FIR. While quashing multiple FIRs lodged in different places with

regard to the news show, the top court said they will have “stifling effect” and directed that no other FIR or complaint shall be entertained or pursued on basis of broadcast made by Goswami on April 21.

An FIR lodged by Mumbai police on May 2, for allegedly hurting religious sentiments by making derogatory remark regarding a mosque located in suburban Bandra at his news show.

In another case, multiple FIRs were lodged against him in various states over his alleged defamatory statements against Congress Chief Sonia

Gandhi during news debate on Palghar mob-lynching of three persons, including two saints in Maharashtra.

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