Arnab's wife to SC cites Dave's silence on urgent hearing of Bhushan's plea, terms letter 'contemptuous'

The hearing for Goswami's interim bail plea is in progress before a bench

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The war of words has broken out in connection with the listing for urgent hearing of Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami plea on Wednesday in the Supreme Court challenging the Bombay High Court denying him interim bail in 2018 abetment of suicide case.

The Supreme Court Bar Association president Dushyant Dave has strongly protested against the selective listing of Goswami's plea.

While Goswami's wife cited Dave's silence on urgent hearing on advocate Prashant Bhushan and termed his letter a malicious attempt and selective outrage to cause prejudice to the hearing of her husband petition.

Goswami's wife Samyabrata Ray, in a letter to the secretary-general, said she believes Dave has attempted to tarnish the reputation, integrity, and independence of the great institution of the judiciary and has also attempted to cause prejudice to the free and fair course of justice.

"Further, I have been informed that in the case of Prashant Bhushan versus Jaydev Rajnikant the writ petition was filed on 30 April 2020 (again under Article 32) in the Supreme Court seeking to quash an FIR registered against him by Gujarat police and the matter was listed to be heard on 1 May 2020. Again, there was a stony silence on the part of Dave on this development," Ray said.

Earlier Dave, in a letter to the secretary-general of the apex court, described a selective listing of Goswami's plea as a serious issue. "While thousands of citizens remain in jails, languishing for long periods while their matters filed before the Supreme Court are not getting listed for weeks and months, it is, to say the least, deeply disturbing as to how and why every time Goswami approaches the Supreme Court, his matter gets listed instantly."

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Ray said she is shocked and horrified at the extent to which certain vested interests are at work. "Neither do I know Dave, nor have I ever met him. However, the selective targeting of my husband's petition by Dave shall have to be opposed by me, given his silence on other matters which were taken up by this Supreme Court in its wisdom with urgency in the past", she said in a letter to the secretary-general.

Ray insisted that Dave's selective outrage in the present case is not only prejudicial to the cause of justice for her husband "but is contemptuous as it tends to interfere with the administration of justice."

Dave, citing former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, said even he could not get similar speed listing and had to spend long months in jail till finally, the Supreme Court declared that he deserved to be bailed out. "So, likes of Goswami get special treatment while ordinary Indians are made to suffer, including Imprisonment, which are many times illegal and unauthorised", Dave added.

The hearing for Goswami's interim bail plea is in progress before a bench comprising Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee.