Synopsis: After the amendment had been allowed, the court posted the hearing on 2nd December in order to address the claims relating to the amended plea.
On Wednesday, the Bombay High Court allowed ARG Outlier (Republic TV’s parent company) to amend their petition to challenge the charges filed yesterday by the Mumbai Police in the allegedly fake TRP Scam uncovered by the Mumbai Police.
The original plea solely demanded that the First Information Report (FIR) against the Republic and its employees, including Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, be quashed, and that the investigation proceedings be transferred from the Mumbai Police Crime Branch to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
At the outset, Senior Advocate Aabad Ponda, appearing for ARG Outlier, requested the Court to grant leave to amend the petition and delay the hearing by a few days in order to contest the charges filed by the Mumbai Police as well.
Appearing for the State, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal objected to Ponda’s submission arguing that there should be an application stating the grounds on which the chargesheet is sought to be challenged in order to give the State an opportunity to respond to it.
Goswami is an ordinary litigant, not an extra-ordinary litigant, Sibal observed. Any matter of his can not be tracked easily.
However the court gave time until Friday to amend the plea and serve the State with a copy so that they could respond as well. “We have allowed the amendment subject to the reply and contentions of their State on the amendment.”
Sibal informed the court prior to adjourning the matter if a time will be fixed for next week’s hearing.
However, the court declined to give time for the hearing.
Sibal also asked the court to give appropriate orders to Republic TV not to hold a “parallel trial” of the charges on their channel.
However the court asked Sibal to send a written request to that effect so that the channel could file an appropriate reply.
Ponda answered that at the next hearing, he would take guidance from the Republic on this issue and make a statement.
The court noted the chargesheet and the progress report submitted by the parties to them and adjourned the hearing for 2nd December 2020.