SC refuses to transfer probe in Arnab case from Mumbai police to CBI

Bench says comments made on social media cannot be a reason to transfer a lawful investigation

Comments made on social media cannot be a reason to transfer a lawful investigation from one agency to another, the Supreme Court has said.

A Bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud observed this while refusing to transfer the investigation into a hate FIR registered against Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami from the Mumbai police to the CBI.

The observations made in the judgment was in the background of views tweeted by Mr. Goswami’s channel, based on which the Maharashtra police had even requested a restraining order.

“The investigating agency [police] has placed on the record what it believes is an attempt by the petitioner [Mr. Goswami] to discredit the investigation by taking recourse to the social media and by utilising the news channels which he operates,” the judgment noted.

The court acknowledged the dominating presence of social media in the modern age, but said it was disinclined to shift a lawfully conducted probe from one agency to another merely on the basis of comments made on social media.

“Social media has become an overarching presence in society. To accept the tweets by the petitioner and the interview by the complainant as a justification to displace a lawfully constituted investigation agency of its jurisdiction and duty to investigate would have far-reaching consequences for the federal structure. We are disinclined to do so,” the court said.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 9:07:18 AM |

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