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Arrest of Arnab Goswami violates SC guidelines: Bar Association

Mid-Day logo Mid-Day 11/4/2020 ANI
Arnab Goswami wearing glasses posing for the camera © Provided by Mid-Day Arnab Goswami

Condemning the arrest of Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami in connection with a 2018 abetment to suicide case, the All India Bar Association (AIBA) on Wednesday termed it as a violation of the Supreme Court guidelines to protect the rights of the arrestees. AIBA Chairman Dr Adish C Aggarwala, in a letter to the Maharashtra Governor, appealed for an immediate release of the journalist terming it a "blatant misuse of power" by the Maharashtra government against Republic TV and Arnab Goswami.

"The illegal arrest is an attack on individual freedom and the fourth pillar of democracy. The guidelines of the Supreme Court in the judgment passed in DK Basu vs State of West Bengal have been violated by Mumbai Police in the matter of arrest of Arnab Goswami," the letter said.

Detailing the guidelines, which according to the AIBA were violated by the Mumbai Police, the letter said all police personnel should wear name tags clearly indicating their name and designation and must enter the details of officials conducting interrogation in a register.

The police officer making an arrest has to prepare an arrest memo that records details of the arrest, which must contain the signature of at least one witness, the time, date, and place of the arrest, the letter noted.

It said that if the arrested person makes a request, the arresting officer must record any minor/major injuries on his/her body in an inspection memo. The memorandum should be signed by the arrested person and the arresting officer and a copy of the memo must be given to the arrested person.

"The arrested person has the right to meet and consult a lawyer during his/her interrogation. The police cannot deny this. The police must send one copy of all documents, relating to the arrest (including the arrest and inspection memos) to the Illaqa Magistrate for his/her records," the letter said.

Earlier today, Goswami was arrested in the death case of interior designer Anvay Naik, who allegedly died by suicide in Alibaug in May 2018. A suicide note purportedly written by Naik alleged that Goswami had not paid him his dues.

Goswami has alleged that he along with his mother-in-law, father-in-law, son and wife have been physically assaulted. Mumbai Police entered Goswami's residence today and allegedly physically assaulted his family members and him. Republic TV channel has telecast visuals of Mumbai police entering Goswami's residence and what appears to be a scuffle.

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