SC: Plea for protection of Republic TV staff in Maharashtra ambitious

'You want the Maharashtra police not to arrest any employee and transfer the cases to the CBI. You better withdraw this,' the court told ARG Outlier Media, which owns Republic TV

Arnab Goswami
Within the first year of its airing, Republic Bharat was pulled up by Ofcom for three programmes | File Photo

The Supreme Court has refused to entertain a plea filed by Republic TV network’s owner ARG Outlier Media Private Limited seeking protection for its employees in cases lodged against them in Maharashtra.

On Monday (December 7), a bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud said that the media group’s petition is “ambitious in nature” and asked it to withdraw it. Besides seeking protection for the Republic TV media group, Arnab Goswami and its employees, the petition had said that the Maharashtra government should be stopped from “hounding them” and all FIRs lodged against them should be either quashed or transferred to the CBI.

“This petition is ambitious in nature. You want the Maharashtra police not to arrest any employee and transfer the cases to the CBI. You better withdraw this,” Justice Chandrachud told senior advocate Milind Sathe, who appeared for ARG Outlier Media.

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Sathe told the bench that they have filed the plea to stop the Maharashtra police from “hounding” the media network, its editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami and employees.

“You have sought all the reliefs and these can’t be entertained in one petition,” the bench said, after which Sathe said he would withdraw the plea.

The apex court allowed Sathe to withdraw the petition with liberty to take appropriate remedies available under law.

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The petitioner had also said there should be CBI inquiry against the state and its police in the matter for lodging several cases against the media group and its employees.

It had also sought a direction that no editorial and other staffs of the media group be arrested by the Maharashtra police.

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The Mumbai police had registered a case in the alleged Television Rating Points (TRP) manipulation scam and commissioner Param Bir Singh had claimed that three channels, including Republic TV, had manipulated the TRP. ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd has denied these allegations.

(With inputs from PTI)