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Arnab Goswami case 2020 November | Current Affairs on personal liberty Article 21

Protect right of ordinary people to bail, SC tells judges

How its related with UPSC LAW OPTIONAL MAINS ? Relevant to Art. 21 ( personal liberty ) | Subject – Constitutional Law | Paper 1

RELEVANT CASE LAW : Arnab Manoranjan Goswami v. State of Maharashtra & Ors. 2020 SC

This case relates to offence of abetment to suicide by Arnab Goswami, Republic TV, Editor in chief. In this case, while quoting Justice Krishna Iyer's observations made in State of Rajasthan, Jaipur vs Balchand, the Court observed that the basic rule of our criminal justice system is "bail, not jail' The High Courts and Courts in the district judiciary of India must enforce this principle in practice, and not forego that that duty, leaving this Court to intervene at all times.[]

The Supreme Court gave a clarion call to judges to protect personal liberty and the right of ordinary people to bail, saying “liberty is not a gift for the few”. It means every person has right to liberty. The bench also mentioned that deprivation of liberty for even a single day is one day too many and the state should not be permitted to use criminal law to harass the citizens.

It also said that common citizens without the means or resources to move the High Courts or the Supreme Court were languishing in jails as under trials. Therefore in Arnab Goswami’s case, the Supreme Court issued directions for the release of all the three appellants on bail pending the disposal of the proceedings before the High Court.

Quoting dissenting opinion

  • In this judgment, Justice Chandrachud, has quoted the following observations made by him in his dissenting opinion in Romila Thapar v. Union of India (Bhima Koregaon case)-

  • “The basic entitlement of every citizen who is faced with allegations of criminal wrong doing, is that the investigative process should be fair. This is an integral component of the guarantee against arbitrariness under Article 14 and of the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21.

  • If this court were not to stand by the principles which we have formulated, we may witness a soulful requiem to liberty.”

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