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Here’s what advocates said in their defense in Arnab Goswami-Sonia Gandhi case

The Supreme Court of India (SC) immediately acted upon all the FIRs lodged against Editor-In-Chief at Republic TV Arnab Goswami in connection to the alleged defamation of Congress President Sonia Gandhi. The SC on Friday put a stay on all the FIRs lodged against Goswami a day before, except the one registered by Maharashtra Cabinet Minister for Energy Dr Nitin Raut at Nagpur’s Sadar Police Station. SC on Friday transferred the FIR lodged in Nagpur to Mumbai where it will be further investigated. SC also said no coercive action should be taken against Goswami for the next three weeks; so he has time to apply for anticipatory bail. 

Arnab Goswami’s lawyer Mukul Rohatgi’s defence

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi who defended Goswami said the complaints and FIRs came across as ?politically motivated given that they had been filed only in Congress-run state governments. It is also said that the complaints were a way to muzzle? Goswami’s Freedom of Speech and was an attack on the Freedom of the Press in addition to violation of Goswami’s rights under Articles 19(1)(a) and 21. In particular, complaints have been filed at the behest of a political party to muzzle the fundamental right to free speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution of India, 1950 and to infringe upon his right to life and personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.

It is also added in the petition that in the night intervening between April 22 and 23, Goswami along with is wife were ?brutally attacked by alleged youth wing leaders of Congress. Goswami added that this is a part of the orchestrated attack on his free speech. Therefore, Goswami moved the Apex Court seeking quashing of the FIRs filed against him and for a direction for cognizance not to be taken against him on the same. Despite being granted a Y security, the Editor-in-Chief of Republic has also sought for adequate protection to be provided to him and his colleagues.

Beginning his submissions, Rohatgi took the Court through the details of the recent Palghar lynching incident. It was during a live debate on the Palghar incident that Goswami made the alleged defamatory statements against Congress President Sonia Gandhi. Rohatgi argued that Goswami deals with questions of public interest and that the anchor questioned the inaction of police in light of the Palghar incident.

He clarified that there was no religious angle? given by Goswami during the programme. The senior advocate submitted that Goswami had asked some questions pertaining to the silence of the Congress President on killing of the Sadhus in Palghar and had added that if persons from the minority community were killed, Congress would be the first to raise the issue. It was after this program that aired on April 21 that a number of police complaints were filed against Goswami in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana, and J&K, Rohatgi said to the Court. He pointed out that the Congress governed most of these states where FIRs were lodged and were principally against the alleged defamation of Sonia Gandhi.

Rohatgi went on to read certain tweets put out by some Congress leaders and workers. He pointed out that most of the complaints are identical and all invoke same provisions of the law, i.e., Sections 153, 153A, 500, 504, 295A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Rohatgi argued that a case of defamation could be filed only by the person aggrieved and not by someone else. Rohatgi narrated the incident where Goswami and his wife came under attack in the wee hours of April 22, saying that it was a murderous attack and an attack on Freedom of Speech.

Rohatgi further termed it as an assault on Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, and said that the idea behind multiple FIRs is to muzzle the Freedom of the Press. He went on to cite precedents to show that there can be no FIR in a case of defamation, nor can there be multiple FIRs with same cause of action. Concluding his arguments, Rohatgi said that his client should be protected with respect to these FIRs as well as any other complaints that may be filed related to the program of April 21.


Senior Congress leader and senior advocate Kapil Sibal in Maharashtra read out the alleged defamatory statements made by Goswami on air on April 21. Sibal stated that Goswami had tried to ignite communal tension by pitting Hindus against the minorities and said that once an FIR is lodged, and if on its reading and an offence is made out, then it cannot be quashed.

If someone has filed a complaint, police will investigate and find out if the person can be prosecuted, Sibal argued. He asked that when there are offences mentioned in these FIRs how can there be an Article 32 plea for quashing of the FIRs. The cases may be clubbed, but not quashed, he stated. He further went on to ask what was the problem with Congress leaders filing FIRs. He asked the Court, Even BJP workers had filed FIRs and Rahul Gandhi appeared in defamation cases that were filed against him, then why couldn’t Goswami appearAt this point, Justice Chandrachud suggested that there might be a ground for invoking Article 32 here, given that multiple FIRs have been filed on same cause of action. Sibal replied that the complaints may all be clubbed, but cannot be used for granting protection. ?What if the police decides to add Section 124 A later?? he asked.


Advocate Manish Singhvi then began his submissions for Rajasthan. He said that Section 153A and 153B are non-bailable offences and that there is a clear prima facie case against Goswami under these provisions. He argued that the context, in which the alleged defamatory statements were made, has religious connotations, and a prima facie case is made out. He reiterated Sibals submission saying, There can be consolidation of cases, but investigation cannot be stopped.


Appearing for the Chhattisgarh, Senior Advocate Vivek Tankha argued that this is a case of misusing broadcasting license. He said that that Goswami was promoting ?communal disharmony? and had vitiated the atmosphere during COVID-19 lockdown period by hurting religious sentiments of people. He added that Goswami was seeking protection from this Court after inciting people and instigating enmity. Tankha appealed that no protection be given to Goswami, otherwise we would be inching towards another division of the country.

Tankha further submitted that if protection is granted to Goswami, it might be seen as an encouragement for others. People like Goswami should be stopped from saying such things to protect the integrity of the country, Tankha concluded. Making his rejoinder submissions, Rohatgi countered Tankha by saying that millions of people have not been affected by Goswami’s program, but it is only Congress workers who have filed cases.

Also read: Supreme Court stays all FIRs against Arnab Goswami except for one filed in Nagpur by Nitin Raut

On Singhvi’s point on religious nature of the statement, Rohatgi said that Goswami only spoke about the lynching of Sadhus, that too in police presence, and had said that he would take Congress’ silence as complicity. He added that there was no incitement on religious lines, and that Goswami never spoke of Hindus or Muslims, but only of killing of Sadhus.

Supreme Courts action

After hearing the arguments, the Court expressed its inclination to allow the petitioner to amend the prayer to include prayer for consolidation of FIRs and to bring the complaints and FIRs on record. It also expressed its inclination to stay proceedings on all FIRs except one, given that the cause of action is the same.

The Court further observed that it intended to grant protection to the petitioner for a period of two weeks, so that he might move the appropriate forum for anticipatory bail. It said that Goswami couldn’t be subjected to proceedings in different parts of the country. After taking instructions from Goswami, Rohatgi asked the Court that the FIR in Nagpur may be transferred to Mumbai and the same should be investigated along with the FIR filed by Goswami against the murderous attack on him.

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Never thought I’d get such warmth, love after leaving Congress, says Ghulam Nabi Azad




Radhika Dhawad | Srinagar

Never thought I’d get such warmth, love after leaving Congress, says Ghulam Nabi Azad…

DPAP Chief and ex-Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said he never imagined he would receive such love and warmth after quitting Congress.

Ghulam Nabi Azad addressing public meeting at Banihal

Chairman of Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said he never imagined he would receive such love and warmth after quitting the Congress party. Azad, on Saturday, remarked, “I had never thought that after leaving Congress, the people of Jammu and Kashmir would receive me with this kind of warmth and love.”

Azad said that after quitting the grand old party, more and more people were joining his new party; they have faith in him. He said, “It gives me more responsibilities and challenges to meet the expectations of people. People feel dejected and disappointed with the present governing system.” 

Azad said he aimed to build a better and progressive Jammu Kashmir where the future of youth is secure. He said if his party came to power, he would bring the massive developmental revolution across the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Azad also asserted that his politics was based on inclusiveness, development and peace. Speaking at the public meeting in Eidgah at Srinagar, Azad, said that unlike other parties who try to divide people for political benefit, he aimed to develop Jammu and Kashmir inclusively where each person irrespective of religion, caste and creed felt politically and socially empowered.

Azad concluded, “Be it statehood, land or jobs, I will lead my people from the front to secure their rights. My people are my priority. I have come back to Jammu Kashmir only for my people otherwise, I had all the opportunities I could desire ever in my life.” 

Also read: Gadkari again receives death threat calls from same caller

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Nagpur News

BREAKING: Gadkari again receives death threat calls from same caller




Radhika Dhawad | Nagpur
The Public Relations Officer of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari again received two death threat calls  today morning (March 21).

Nitin Gadkari

In a rather shocking incident amid the high security C20 conference in Nagpur, the Public Relations Office of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari again received two death threat calls  today morning (March 21). According to the information received, once again there have been threatening calls received in the name of a criminal named Jayesh Pujari alias Jayesh Kantha.

Employees of the senior BJP leader’s office alerted Nagpur Police and security has been beefed up outside the office in Khamla and the leader’s residence on Wardha Road. However, cops are yet to ascertain whether the call was actually made by the same person who had issued death threats to Gadkari in January. 

On January 14 this year, an unidentified extortionist, claiming to speak on behalf of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, threatened to kill Gadkari in an explosion if he didn’t pay him ₹100 crore.

The caller threatened Gadkari though a phone call on the landline number of his Public Relations Office (PRO) at Khamla in Nagpur (around one kilometre away from his residence) at 11:25 am, 11:32 am, and 12:30 pm.

The employees of the office alerted the police after the threat call, where in the caller also threatened to blow up Gadkari’s office. Nagpur Police immediately beefed up the security outside Gadkari’s office and residence. 

It was later revealed that a notorious gangster named Jayesh Pujari had threatened to kill Gadkari by allegedly making the three threat calls illegally using a cellphone while he was lodged in Belgaum Jail at Karnataka. 

In 2016, Pujari had even escaped after breaking the jail. The gangster, in the past too, had threatened several senior officers and other people in a similar manner. 

Also read: NMC spends ₹20 crore on lighting trees for C20 in Nagpur

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Nagpur News

Arush Chitre wins Open Group, Shraddha Bajaj bags first spot in Girl Group




Nation Next Newsroom | Nagpur

Chess Association Nagpur

Arush Chitre in Open Group and Shraddha Bajaj in Girls Group annexed the title of the  Nagpur District Under-17 Open and Girls Chess Championship organised by Chess Association Nagpur on 19th March 2023 in association with GH Raisoni Sports and Cultural Foundation and Kalpana Prakash Welfare Foundation at Vivekanand Hall at Shraddha House in Nagpur.

Arush Chitre, seeded second, improved his position to achieve the title scoring 6.5 out of 7. Ayush Ramteke also scored 6.5 points but was placed second based on their tie-break score.

In the Girls Group, second seeded Shraddha Bajaj took the top spot with 4.5 points out of 5 Rounds. Fifth seeded Swanandi Sole followed her to take second place in the merit list with 4 points out of five. 

Arush Chitre and  Ayush Ramteke shall represent the Nagpur District in Open Group and Shraddha Baja and Swanandi sole shall represent Nagpur District in Girls Group in the Maharashtra State Under 17 FIDE Rating Chess Championship to be held at Buldhana from 14th April 2022 to 16th April 2023.

Prizes were distributed at the hands of Swapnil Ahirkar Joint Secretary NCP Business Cell Maharashtra, Social worker & Director Ahirkar Group of Nagpur. Bhushsan Shriwas, Secretary, Chess Association Nagpur and Chief Arbiter Deepak Chavan were present on the dais. Top five finishers in Open and Girls Group got the trophies while medals were given to top two in under 15,13,11,09,07 category.

Deepak Chavan, Chief Arbiter successfully conducted the event assisted by SNA Sagar Sakhare, SNA Prayas Ambade and Prathamesh Machave.

Also read: RCNV holds Rotaract meet with RI Friendship Exchange Team from Mexico

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