NewsClick case: ED issues summons to Neville Roy Singham | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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NewsClick case: ED issues summons to Neville Roy Singham

ByNeeraj Chauhan
Nov 16, 2023 09:28 AM IST

Singham has been named as accused in the CBI FIR along with PPK NewsClick Studio, Purkayastha and Jason Pfetcher (sole manager of Worldwide Media Holdings)

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) last month issued summons to Neville Roy Singham, the Shanghai-based American businessman, in connection with its money laundering probe against news portal - NewsClick, people familiar with the development said.

American businessman, Neville Roy Singham, who is said to be currently based in Shanghai. (Getty Images)
American businessman, Neville Roy Singham, who is said to be currently based in Shanghai. (Getty Images)

Officials said the summons to Singham have been sent through the ministry of external affairs (MEA). A similar attempt to serve summons to the businessman was blocked by China last year, they said.

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The Delhi Police last month arrested NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha and head of human resources, Amit Chakravorty, last week alleging that the accused persons were part of a conspiracy to disrupt India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, cause disaffection and threaten the country’s unity and integrity.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) too raided the office premises of NewsClick after registering a case on October 7 to probe violation of foreign funding law by the news portal.

Singham has been named as accused in the CBI first information report (FIR) along with PPK NewsClick Studio, Purkayastha and Jason Pfetcher (sole manager of Worldwide Media Holdings).

It is alleged that NewsClick received unexplained export remittance of approximately 28.46 crore through four foreign entities in violation of FCRA provisions.

NewsClick’s funding by Singham is under investigation by Income Tax department as well apart from the CBI, ED and Delhi Police.

NewsClick has refuted the charges against it saying it never published any news or information at the behest of any Chinese entity or authority. It denied taking any directions from Singham. “All funding received by NewsClick has been through the appropriate banking channels and been reported to the relevant authorities as required by law, as substantiated by the Reserve Bank of India in proceedings before the high court of Delhi,” the portal said in a statement last month.

The Delhi Police FIR alleges that Purkayastha conspired with a group named Peoples Alliance for Democracy and Secularism to sabotage the 2019 general elections and that Chinese firms such as Xiaomi and Vivo incorporated shell companies to infuse foreign funds to further the conspiracy.

Also Read: NewsClick case: Founder, HR head sent to judicial custody till December 1

Citing secret inputs, it claims that Indian and foreign entities illegally infused funds worth crores and that this was done in pursuance of conspiracy and intention to disrupt India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, cause disaffection, and threaten the country’s unity and integrity.

The Delhi Police has also named activist Gautam Navlakha and Singham, accusing them of spreading Chinese propaganda. On Navlakha’s association with Purkayastha, the FIR claims they have known each other since 1991.

The FIR cites emails between Purkayastha, Neville, and “some other Chinese employees” and says they “expose their intent to show that Arunachal Pradesh and Kashmir as not parts of India”

On August 5, an investigation published in The New York Times alleged that the portal was part of a global network that received money for pushing Chinese propaganda. The American newspaper said that millionaire Singham funded NewsClick, among other outlets across the globe, to sprinkle its coverage with Chinese government talking points.

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