The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea filed by ARG Media Associates and Arnab Goswami, requesting the transfer of all cases filed by the Mumbai Police against the Republic TV team as well as to grant protection from coercion. The plea also requested transfer of cases filed to the CBI and also asked that the Mumbai Police be restrained from arresting any more employees of the channel.
The bench, consisting of Justice Chandrachud examined the plea today, with the Justice noting that the demands made in the plea were "too ambitious" to be considered and instructed Goswami's lawyers to withdraw the plea. Permission was granted to resort to alternate remedies.
An FIR had been filed against the editorial team of Republic TV in October, under the Police (Incitement to Disaffection) Act 1922. The charge-sheet named prominent members such as Executive Editor Niranjan Narayanaswamy, Senior Associate Editor and Anchor Shivani Gupta, Deputy News Editor Sagarika Mitra and Deputy Editor Shawan Sen. The accusation was of "stoking disaffection among the police", as the channel had allegedly tried to portray the Mumbai Police as 'rebelling' against orders to pursue Republic TV's links in the TRP scam case.
Republic TV has also raised concerns of coercion of editors during questioning and arrests by police as a way silencing dissent. In the same broadcast, the channel had accused Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh of being "hell-bent on tarnishing the image" of Republic TV.