Earlier today, Goswami, who is the editor-in-chief of Republic TV, moved the top court challenging the Bombay high court order refusing him interim bail in a 2018 abetment to suicide case.
Goswami’s bail plea will be taken up for hearing on Wednesday before a vacation bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee.
Lodging strong protest against the “selective listing” of Goswami’s plea, the bar body president Dushyant Dave questioned how the journalist’s plea gets listed “instantly” each time he approaches the top court while thousands of citizens languishing in jails have to wait for weeks and months to get a hearing.
“I have nothing personal against Mr Goswami … the serious issue here is selective listing of matters that the Registry under your leadership is indulging in for last eight months during Covid pandemic,” Dave said in his letter.
The SCBA chief further asked whether there is any special order or direction from the Chief Justice of India and the Master of the Roaster in this regard, adding that it is quite well known that such “extraordinarily urgent listings” of matters cannot and does not take place without specific orders from the Chief Justice.
Dave said that it is on record that time and again he has received requests from various Advocates-on-Record (AORs) to the effect that the matters filed by them are not getting listed for weeks and months though very urgent and involving serious issues requiring Court’s urgent intervention including bail matters.
“They (advocates) have even complained, giving names, that certain AORs matters get instant listing while they have to wait in queue for long time,” he added.
“I must place on record that in few cases you have kindly helped in getting such matters listed. But that is not the issue. Issue here is why is this selective listing taking place when system is supposedly computerised and is to work automatically? Why is it that despite the same, matters are getting circulated and that too before only few benches? Why is there no fool proof system to be just and fair to all Citizens and all AORs?” Dave questioned.
He said that while the likes of Goswami gets “special treatment”, ordinary Indians are made to suffer, including imprisonment, which are many times illegal and unauthorised.
He even cited the case of former Union minister P Chidambaram, who couldn’t get similar “speedy listing and had to spend long months in jail till finally the Supreme Court declares that he deserved to be bailed out”.
He said Goswami’s plea against the Bombay High Court order was filed yesterday, it got instant diary number, though not final, and it is listed for tomorrow (November 11).
“This is a gross abuse of administrative power, whosoever has exercised it on administrative side. It gives an impression that clients represented by certain lawyers are getting special treatment, which does not speak well of the great institution, that the Supreme Court is,” he said.
Requesting that till fool proof system is installed to ensure urgent listing on well-known principles and till the matters filed by various AORs are listed, Dave said that the secretary general should not allow Goswami’s plea to be heard.
He requested the secretary general to place his letter before the bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud which is scheduled to take up Goswami’s plea.
The Bombay high court on Monday refused to grant interim bail to Goswami and two others in the case and had asked them to move to the local court for the relief.
He was arrested by Alibaug police in Maharashtra’s Raigad district on November 4 in connection with the suicide of architect-interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother in 2018 over alleged non-payment of dues by companies of the accused.