Mumbai: Arnab Goswami, the greatest TV News program anchor of our times, belonging to Times Now, the No. 1 TV News Channel in the universe, has raised a demand of an undisclosed amount as fees from Indian courts for his services of conducting the Sheena Bora murder case trial on behalf of the judiciary.
“I have done everything, the whole procedure. They just have to read out my judgement,” is what Arnab had to say when questioned about his seemingly outlandish demand.
When media men from the No. 4 TV News channel onwards (for, the first three positions are already taken by Times Now itself), approached Arnab for details, he declined to speak. “I speak only on my TV show. I speak only on my channel, not yours. Tell me why should I tell you?” he questioned.
One brave reporter paid Arnab back in his own way and said, “Sir, the nation wants to know. You have to tell us.”
That is when Arnab started explaining his stand.
Arnab: Why should I not charge the court fees? After all I have spent time and money on this matter. I have tried more people on my show than the courts would have. Except the victim, I got all the others to my studio for interrogation. Even ex-cops were grilled. I got Maroof for the terrorist angle, General Bakshi for the Pakistan angle, Gillani for the Pakistan view, Geelani for the separatists view, Iyer for Congress view, Sambit for BJP view, Jethmalani for legal view, I mean everybody. Except Sheena Bora herself, which too I tried.
Arnab: Then, what about my precious time? You can’t put a price on my time. It is much above what anyone can pay. I have worked on it twenty-four hours a day for weeks together. Either I was on TV on the case, or else I was thinking about it. Twenty-four hours a day. Totally dedicated.
Reporter: But why should the courts pay, sir?
Arnab: Look, I have recordings of all the episodes of Newshour as evidence in the case. I have finally handed over the verdict too. What else have the courts got to do? They just have read out my judgement and decide the sentence and quantum of punishment. I have done all their work. That is why they have to pay.
Reporter: Then, why don’t you officially deliver the verdict and the judgment too?
Arnab: No, I do not do it. That is the responsibility of judiciary. I am not allowed to do that.
Reporter: Sir, but this has never happened in the history of India or anywhere in the world for that matter.
Arnab: True. That is because Times Now was not there. And there was no Arnab Goswami.
Reporter: But nobody charges courts, sir.
Arnab: Again, it will happen because it is Times Now and I am asking.
Reporter: What if they don’t pay you?
Arnab: Well I will slap a case of non-payment of professional fees for services rendered and then conduct a trial of that case too, on Newshour.
Reporter: Sir, one last thing. What is the amount you have charged as fee?
Arnab: The nation does not have to know that.