MUMBAI, Nov.11 (Reuters) – The Indian Supreme Court granted bail on Wednesday for the head of a nationalist television station, a week after his arrest for allegedly encouraging the suicide of an interior designer, a case the channel blamed politicians angered by its news coverage.
The court said a lower court was wrong to deny Arnab Goswami bail and ordered his release on 50,000 rupees ($ 670) bail.
Police said the decorator left behind a suicide note claiming Goswami’s Republic TV had not paid him for the design work at his Mumbai-based TV studio, leaving him in deep debt. The channel, which has a reputation for denouncing guests during its nightly debates, said the 2018 affair was fabricated and the local government, led by parties opposed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), punished him for his news. blanket.
Goswami’s arrest elicited mixed reactions and revealed divisions within Indian politics. Several members of Modi’s government condemned the detention as an attack on the press.
But others said the BJP itself had been hostile to journalists from the states it governed.
Himanta Biswa Sarma, a BJP minister from Modi in northeastern Assam state, said he was “extremely satisfied” with the court’s ruling.
“Justice wins!” He said on Twitter. “With this, I sincerely hope that the wicked witch hunt against the editor of @republic and the channel will end.”