Non-bailable warrant against Arnab Goswami, 3 other Republic TV journalists

Srinagar: A non-bailable warrant has been issued against Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami and three other journalists by the court of the chief judicial magistrate of Srinagar on Saturday, in a case filed by Peoples Democratic Party leader Naeem Akhtar.

According to Scroll, alleging that the news channel telecast “scandalous” content against him, Akhtar had filed a plea seeking punishment for the accused under Section 499 and Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code, which relate to defamation.

As reported by Kashmir News Service, the court had on December 27 directed Goswami, the channel’s special Srinagar correspondent Zeenat Zeeshan Fazil, Senior Associate Editor Aditya Raj Kaul and anchor, Sakal Bhatt, to appear before it.

But Goswami, Kaul and Bhatt cannot answer the summons on Saturday because of the situation prevailing in the Kashmir Valley following the Pulwama terror attack, Irshad Ahmad, the counsel for the defendants, told the court. However, he said Fazil cannot appear before the court due to her personal and professional engagements.

Rejecting the defendants’ application seeking personal exemption from appearance, the chief judicial magistrate said the accused were required to appear in court and submit surety bonds.

Directing a non-bailable warrant be issued against Goswami and the three other accused, the Court asked concerned senior superintendents of police to produce them in court on March 23.