‘Dismissed’: Delhi HC rejects petitions by Newsclick founder Prabir Purkayastha | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘Dismissed’: Delhi HC rejects petitions by Newsclick founder Prabir Purkayastha

Oct 13, 2023 02:14 PM IST

Prabir Purkayastha and Amit Chakravarty argued that their arrest and remand cannot be sustained as the grounds of arrest were not supplied to them at the time of arrest

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha and human resource head Amit Chakraborty’s plea challenging their arrest by the Delhi police in a case lodged under anti-terror law the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the court order remanding them in police custody for seven days.

NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha being brought to the Patiala House court by Delhi Police's Special Cell in a case lodged under anti-terror law UAPA in New Delhi on Oct 10. (PTI)
NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha being brought to the Patiala House court by Delhi Police's Special Cell in a case lodged under anti-terror law UAPA in New Delhi on Oct 10. (PTI)

Purkayastha and Chakravarty argued that their arrest and remand cannot be sustained as the grounds of arrest were not supplied to them at the time of arrest and the remand order was passed by the trial court in a mechanical manner, in the absence of their lawyers.

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

On October 6, the high court refused to grant them interim bail saying that the allegations against them were not of such a nature where immediate relief could be given but questioned Delhi police for its failure to provide the duo with grounds of arrest in the remand application.

Purkayastha and Chakraborty were arrested on October 3 after 400 police officials raided around 30 locations across Delhi, Noida, Gurugram, Mumbai and Ghaziabad, questioning 46 people, including journalists, freelancers, writers and satirists, for eight hours. The two were produced before a sessions court at the end of their police custody for seven days and sent to Tihar jail till October 20.

In its first information report (FIR), police stated that the founder allegedly conspired with a group named Peoples Alliance for Democracy and Secularism to sabotage the 2019 general elections and Chinese firms such as Xiaomi and Vivo incorporated shell companies illegally to infuse foreign funds to disrupt the country’s sovereignty.

On Wednesday, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided office premises of NewsClick and its founder Prabir Purkayastha after registering a case to probe violation of foreign funding law by the news portal. The agency registered a case under sections of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) on October 7 based on a reference received from the ministry of home affairs (MHA).

A CBI spokesperson said it was alleged that their company received unexplained export remittance of 28.46 crore through four foreign entities in violation of FCRA provisions. “It was further alleged that there was an unexplained receipt of foreign fund of 9.59 crore (approx.) by incorrect characterization of the fund as FDI. The director of said private company with his close associates allegedly violated the provisions of FCRA, 2010,” the spokesperson said in a statement on Wednesday.

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