Court extends judicial custody of NewsClick founder, HR head till October 25

After their arrest by the Delhi Police on October 3, Prabir Purkayastha and Amit Chakraborty were remanded to police and then judicial custody; police remand being challenged in Supreme Court

October 20, 2023 10:12 pm | Updated 10:20 pm IST - NEW DELHI

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. File

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. File | Photo Credit: PTI

NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha and Human Resources head Amit Chakraborty, who have been booked by the Delhi police in a case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), will remain in judicial custody till October 25.

The NewsClick duo were arrested on October 3, and remained in police custody for seven days, before being remanded to judicial custody, which was extended by Additional Sessions Judge Hardeep Kaur of the Patiala House Court on Friday.

Mr. Purkayastha and Mr. Chakraborty have now moved the Supreme Court, appealing against the dismissal of their petitions challenging their police remand.

Also Read | Undeclared Emergency: The Hindu Editorial on the arrests and actions in Newsclick case

The matter pertains to an FIR registered by the Delhi Police against the news portal, under Sections 13, 16, 17, 18, and 22 of the anti-terror UAPA, pertaining to unlawful activities for raising of funds for a terrorist act. They were also booked for threatening witnesses under Sections 153 A and 120 B of the Indian Penal Code (promoting religious enmity between groups on grounds of religion, and criminal conspiracy, respectively).

The FIR was registered in August, days after The New York Times reported that the news portal had received money from American businessman Neville Roy Singham to spread Chinese propaganda.

Subsequently, journalists, staff, and associates of NewsClick were questioned about their coverage of the Delhi communal riots, the 2019-20 agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Act, the 2020-21 farmers’ protest, and Sikh separatism; their association with Jawaharlal Nehru University; and whether they used encrypted messaging applications such as Signal on their phones.

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