The court granted permission to interrogate the three, as otherwise under law, police do not have access to an accused who is in jail custody without an order of the court. A 10-member squad of Raigad police on Monday interrogated Goswami and two others who are now lodged in Taloja jail for three hours, inspector Jamil Shaikh of Raigad crime branch, who is the investigating officer, said. The officer said three teams interrogated Goswami, Firoz Shaikh and Neetish Sarda in the afternoon.
Goswami, Firoze Shaikh and Sarda were shifted to Taloja Central prison on Sunday after the Raigad police claimed Goswami was active on social media over phone while in judicial custody at the makeshift quarantine centre at Alibaug civic school.
In the hearing on the police’s revision application before sessions court challenging rejection of a 14-day police custody plea, defence counsel Vijay Aggarwal for Sarda argued at length on Monday. His argument was on the maintainability of the revision application, which also sought orders to prohibit the magistrate from hearing and passing bail orders in the matter. Aggarwal cited three SC judgments to state that the remand order was an interlocutory order and hence no revision plea could be entertained. Special public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat, in turn, cited a judgment of the Gujarat HC, which had explained what the SC meant, to argue that it was a final order of remand and hence the revision plea ought to be heard on merit.
Goswami’s counsel Aabad Ponda argued that both revision and bail applications be heard simultaneously. The sessions court will pass orders first on the preliminary maintainability issue raised by Aggarwal on the revision plea on Tuesday. The bail pleas will also be taken up on Tuesday.
Inspector Shaikh said, “Interrogating the accused Arnab Goswami lodged at Taloja jail will be a time-consuming affair as we will have to travel daily for two hours from Alibaug to reach Taloja jail and will have restrictions to interrogate him only for three hours as per the CJM order. Police custody would be convenient to carry out the interrogation.”