Delhi HC Dismisses Petition of NewsClick Founder in UAPA Case 

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According to the FIR, a large amount of funds to the news portal allegedly came from China to "disrupt the sovereignty of India" and cause disaffection against the country.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — The Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed petitions of NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha and portal’s human resources department head Amit Chakravarty in a case lodged under the anti-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

The court refused to interfere with their arrest and subsequent police remand.

Dismissing their plea challenging the police action, Justice Tushar Rao Gedela said, “The court does not find merit in both petitions,” media reports said.

The Delhi Police’s Special Cell had arrested Purkayastha and Chakravarty on October 3, and the next day, they were sent to a seven-day police custody by a city court.

The petitioners then moved the High Court challenging not just their arrest but seeking quashing of the FIR in the matter.

The High Court reserved the order, and on the other hand, Delhi’s Patiala House Courts on Tuesday sent them to a 10-day judicial custody on expiry of their police remand.

Before the High Court, senior advocate for Purkayastha, Kapil Sibal, had argued that “all facts are false and not a penny came from China”.

Sibal said that no grounds for arrest have been supplied to them, and that only the arrest memo is the document which has been produced.

The senior advocate made various claims against their arrest saying that the remand order was passed by the trial court in the absence of their lawyers, when the remand order was passed at 6 a.m., Purkayastha’s lawyer received it through WhatsApp only at 7 a.m.

It was argued that the arrests made were in violation of the Supreme Court’s recent judgement, which had made it compulsory for the police to supply “written” grounds of arrest to the accused at the time of being arrested.

A case has been lodged against the two under UAPA for allegedly receiving money to spread pro-China propaganda.

According to the FIR, a large amount of funds to the news portal allegedly came from China to “disrupt the sovereignty of India” and cause disaffection against the country.

It also alleged that Purkayastha conspired with a group — People’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism (PADS) — to sabotage the electoral process during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. — (With agency inputs)

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