The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice of contempt to the secretary of the Maharashtra assembly for writing a letter to Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami on October 13 for breaching the confidentiality of the proceedings of the House by approaching the top court against the breach of privilege notice.
The top court asked the secretary of the Maharashtra assembly to remain present during the hearing on this letter to take place after two weeks. Till then, the court ordered no arrest of Goswami in the privilege matter. The bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde appointed Arvind Datar, a senior advocate, as amicus to assist in the matter.
The Supreme Court noted that the letter seriously interferes with the administration of justice as it intimidates Goswami for approaching Court. The bench also comprising justice AS Bopanna and justice V Ramasubramanian termed the letter by the assembly secretary as unprecedented and shocking.
“The clear intention of the author of the letter seems to be to intimidate the petitioner because he approached the Court and to threaten him with a penalty for doing so,” it said. “The assembly should be well advised to understand that the right to approach this Court under Art 32 of Constitution is itself a fundamental right,” the court added.
The top court has issued a notice to Attorney General KK Venugopal to assist in this matter. The letter of October 13 was produced before the court by Goswami’s lawyer Harish Salve who submitted an application with an affidavit by 47-year-old journalist’s wife as he is in jail.
Goswami was arrested on Wednesday from his house in Mumbai and was then taken to Alibag in connection with a 2018 case of abetment to suicide. Designer Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud Naik died of suicide and named Goswami as one of the three people who didn’t pay dues amounting to Rs 5.4 crore.