The Magistrate Court in Alibag, Maharashtra, recorded reasons for rejecting the request for police custody for Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami on Wednesday. The court remanded him in judicial custody for 14 days.

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Mr. Goswami was arrested on November 4 from his residence in Mumbai for allegedly abetting the suicide of interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud Naik, directors of Concorde Designs Private Limited, for not paying ₹83 lakhs towards the Bombay Dyeing Studio Project.

In court, the prosecution argued that Mr. Goswami tried to evade arrest and had not been co-operating. The prosecutor said custody was required for questioning on some documents seized from him.

Senior advocate Aabad Ponda, representing Mr. Goswami, appeared through videoconferencing and told the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) that no summons or notice was issued and after a summary report was submitted, arresting his client was illegal as Mr. Goswami was willing to pay the money.

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5-hour hearing

After perusing the documents and hearing the arguments for over five hours, CJM Sunaina Pingle said the victim’s death was not clearly connected with the accused. No court order was issued for such an investigation. The prosecution had not shown or informed the defect in the earlier investigation, hence police custody could not be granted, said the court.

The order said, “The investigating officer on October 15, 2020 only submitted a report to the magistrate informing that certain fresh material has come to the fore in the case. There is no record to show that the magistrate permitted reopening of the case.”

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The 11-page-order also states, “All reasons seeking custody are primarily collection of documentary evidence hence custody of the accused is not necessary”.

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