SC comes down heavily on Bombay HC on Arnab case: Must not allow misuse of criminal law

27th November 2020

27th November 2020

The Supreme Court on Friday announced a detailed order in which it gave reasons for granting interim bail to Republic TV Editor in Chief Arnab Goswami. A bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Indira Banerjee said the interim order issued in the reopened abetment to suicide case shall remain in force for now. Justice Chandrachud remarked during the announced of verdict that Arnab was not a "flight risk" in the instant case.

Arnab was provided interim bail on November 11 which had earlier been denied by the Bombay High Court. The apex court said that the high court had abdicated its role of being a protector of civil liberties enshrined in the Constitution as fundamental rights. "Misuse of criminal law is something that HC should be alive to," the Bench remarked.

"Courts must be alive to the situation that as it prevails on the ground - in the jails and police stations where human dignity has no protector," it added.

It emphasised that the courts "must ensure that they continue to remain the first line of defence against the deprivation of the liberty of the citizens". It also said that courts must always be "mindful  of the systemic implications" of their decisions.

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