Alibag police filed charge sheet in 2018 abatement suicide case of architect-interior designer Anvay Naik, 53, and his mother, Kumud, in which editor-in-chief of Republic TV and R Bharat news channels Arnab Goswami and two others — Feroz Shaikh and Nitesh Sarda — are accused. Police inspector and investigating officer Jamil Shaikh confirmed that the charge sheet has been filed.
Alibag police arrested Goswami, Shaikh and Sarda on November 4 from their residences in Mumbai. They were produced in the Alibag court on same day and sent to judicial custody. Goswami was in jail for eight days and walked out of Taloja jail on November 11 after the Apex court granted him bail.
The police filed a charge sheet of around 1,900 pages which includes statement of 65 witnesses. There are statements of Naik’s family members and staff members. The charge sheet also includes statements of the accused’s staff and call data records and retrieval of information from electronic devices.
Goswami had filed an application on December 3 before the Bombay high court (HC) urging the court to stay any further probe into the suicide abetment case registered against him. He has also sought an interim order to restrain Alibag police from filing a charge sheet in the case and to transfer the investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or some other independent agency beyond the purview of Maharashtra government.
Advocate Niha Raut, who represents Shaikh, said, “The police has filed charge sheet today. However, my client, Feroz Shaikh, was called by Alibag crime branch for interrogation on December 4. Shaikh reached at 10am to Alibag crime branch office and he was asked to go at 6pm”.
Naik, architect and managing director of Concorde Designs Private Limited, and his mother Kumud died by suicide at his Alibag farmhouse in Raigad on May 5, 2018. In his suicide note, police said, Naik alleged he was being forced to take this step as he was not paid his dues — ₹83 lakh by Goswami, ₹55 lakh by Sarda of Smartworks and ₹4 crore by Shaikh of IcastX/Skimedia. Acting on a complaint by Naik’s wife, Akshata, police registered an offence booking the trio on May 5, 2018. On April 16, 2019, then investigating officer submitted an A-summary report and sought closure of the case for want of prosecutable evidence against any of the three accused. The jurisdictional magistrate had accepted the report the same day.
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