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NewsClick row: SC seeks Delhi Police's reply on plea of Prabir Purkayastha, Amit Chakravarty in UAPA case

The CBI registered an FIR against NewsClick and its founder Prabir Purkayastha for alleged violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act and carried out searches at the office and residence of the portal's founder.

Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 New Delhi Updated on: October 19, 2023 12:32 IST
Supreme Court of India
Image Source : REPRESENTATIONAL PIC Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought response from the Delhi Police on pleas of NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha and its HR head Amit Chakravarty against their arrest under anti-terror law UAPA.

A bench of Justices BR Gavai and Prashant Kumar Mishra issued notice to the Delhi Police and sought its response by October 30 after senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Devadatt Kamat, appearing for Purkayastha and Chakravarty, respectively, said they are in jail and the pleas be heard early.

Earlier, an SC bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra took note of the submissions of senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, appearing for Purkayastha and Chakravarty, that the matter needed urgent hearing and asked him to circulate the case papers.

"This is the NewsClick matter. The journalists are in the police custody. Here one of the accused is a 75-year-old man,” Sibal said. The CJI said he would take a call on the listing.

Delhi High Court on October 13 dismissed the plea against the arrest and subsequent police remand of the duo in the case. Both were arrested by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police on October 3. They subsequently moved the high court challenging the arrest as well as the seven-day police custody and sought immediate release as interim relief. On October 10, the trial court sent them to judicial custody for 10 days. A case has been lodged against the two under anti-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for allegedly receiving money to spread pro-China propaganda. 

According to the FIR, a large amount of funds to the news portal came from China to "disrupt the sovereignty of India" and cause disaffection against the country. It also alleged Purkayastha conspired with a group -- People's Alliance for Democracy and Secularism (PADS) -- to sabotage the electoral process during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

ALSO READ | Delhi High Court dismisses NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha's plea challenging arrest under UAPA

ALSO READ | NewsClick case: Days after Delhi Police raids, CBI takes over investigation

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