A Prima Facie evaluation of FIR does not disclose offence of Abetment to Suicide against Arnab Goswami: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court, in its judgment today, observed that, on prima facie evaluation of FIR lodged against Arnab Goswami, it cannot be said that he was guilty of having abetted the suicide within the meaning of Section 306 of the IPC. The bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee said that the High Court failed to evaluate prima facie whether the allegations in the FIR, taken as they stand, bring the case within the fold of Section 306 read with Section 34 of the IPC.

The court observed that the Bombay High Court failed to discharge its adjudicatory function at two levels – first in declining to evaluate prima facie at the interim stage in a petition for quashing the FIR as to whether an arguable case has been made out, and secondly, in declining interim bail, as a consequence of its failure to render a prima facie opinion on the first.

The bench added that a High Court in its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India has the power to grant bail in a suitable case. It also summarized the factors to be noted while considering an application for the grant of bail under Article 226 in a suitable case.

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