Delhi HC rejects NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha’s appeals

NEW DELHI | Updated: 13 October, 2023 8:24 pm IST
Delhi police raids journalists linked to NewsClick over alleged illegal funding from China

As per the court order, Prabir and NewsClick’s HR head will remain in police custody for seven days

NEW DELHI: On Friday, the Delhi High Court exacerbated NewsClick’s concerns by rejecting the petitions filed by the founder, Prabir Purkayastha, and the Human Resources head, Amit Chakravarty. These petitions challenged their arrest by the Delhi Police under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Per the court order, the duo in question will remain in police custody for seven days. In their petition, they argued that their detention and arrest were unjustified, as they had not been provided with the FIR outlining the reasons for their arrest at the time it happened. Moreover, they alleged that the authorities had issued the remand order in the absence of their legal representatives.

“This court does not find any merit in both of the petitions, the same are accordingly dismissed,” said the bench of Justice Tushar Rao Gedela.

Earlier, the HC had denied both Purkayastha and Chakravarty’s applications for interim bail on October 6, citing that the provisions of the charges against them prevented the court from offering immediate relief to the duo. However, they also took stock of the situation of the police officials not furnishing the grounds of arrest and remand to the accused.

Recently, NewsClick also fell under the scanner of the Central Bureau of Investigation whereupon they accused the media organisation of obtaining illegal funds from foreign entities, charging them under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act. A CBI spokesperson had said that it was alleged that their company received an unexplained export remittance of Rs 28.46 crore through four foreign entities in violation of FCRA provisions.

The Delhi Police’s FIR stated that the organisation had been receiving illegal funds through shell companies of Chinese firms Xiaomi and Vivo. Moreover, the accusations also said that the media organisation had tried to manipulate the 2019 General Elections.

Both Purkayastha and Chakravarty have been sent to Tihar jail till October 20.

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