Mumbai Police has issued a show-cause notice to Republic TV's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami over his alleged communal comments during his coverage of the Palghar lynching case and the Bandra migrants incident in April this year.

Arnab has been asked to appear before the Special Executive Magistrate and Assistant Commissioner of Police, Worli Division on Friday at 4 pm.

The show-cause notice -- sent under section 108 of the Code of Criminal Procedure -- asks Arnab to explain why a bond of good behaviour should not be taken from him.

The notice reportedly refers to objectionable coverage of two incidents -- lynching of sadhus in Palghar district, and the issue of Bandra migrants gathering during lockdown.

The notice claims that Arnab and his channel gave a communal colour to the incidents and tried to incite communal tension between Hindu and Muslims

'Notice is in contempt of court orders'

Reacting to the summons, Republic TV issued a statement which called the summons deeply-motivated witch hunt by the Maharashtra government.

"The agenda of the Mumbai Police is crystal clear, given the fact that their latest show-cause notice stands in complete violation of the orders of the courts of law. It is in the public domain and well-documented thereof that the Honourable Supreme Court of India and Honourable Bombay High Court both passed orders on Arnab Goswami's broadcast of the Palghar and Bandra incident case," the statement said.

"The summons and show-cause notice issued to by the Executive Magistrate who is also the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mumbai (Worli) has no legal basis and is in contempt of court orders." 

"The extended and seemingly perennial agenda of the Mumbai Police against Republic Media Network serves as a shining example of not only the Mumbai Police's complete disregard for the courts but also exemplifies the state's malicious agenda against journalists asking probing questions in cases of lawlessness."