NewsClick case | ED issues fresh summons to American millionaire Neville Roy Singham

Neville Roy Singham, who has denied all the charges against him, is also an accused in a First Information Report registered by the CBI alleging violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act.

Updated - November 17, 2023 07:14 am IST

Published - November 16, 2023 11:52 am IST - NEW DELHI

Neville Roy Singham, Founder and Chairman, ThoughtWorks, Inc. File

Neville Roy Singham, Founder and Chairman, ThoughtWorks, Inc. File | Photo Credit: Bijoy Ghosh

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued fresh summons to Shanghai-based American millionaire Neville Roy Singham, through the Ministry of External Affairs, in connection with the NewsClick case.

Mr. Singham, who has denied all the charges against him, is also an accused in a First Information Report registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) alleging violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA).

Also Read | Statement by Neville Roy Singham on Newsclick funding row

Among the others named as accused are PPK Newsclick Studio Private Limited, its director Prabir Purkayastha and Jason Pfetcher, the then manager of US-based Worldwide Media Holdings LLC.

Mr. Purkayastha, and the website’s human resources head, Amit Chakraborty, were earlier arrested by the Delhi police and sent to judicial custody under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

“It was alleged that the said private company had received unexplained export remittance of about ₹28.46 crore through four foreign entities in violation of FCRA provisions...there was an unexplained receipt of foreign fund of about ₹9.59 crore by incorrect characterisation of the fund as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The director of said private company, with his close associates, had allegedly violated the provisions of FCRA,” the CBI has alleged.

It is alleged that the FCRA provisions barring acceptance of foreign contribution by any company engaged in the production and broadcast of audio-visual news or current affairs programme via any electronic mode and by any correspondent or columnist or writer or owner of such company were violated.

According to the probe agencies, an analysis of e-mail exchanges showed that Mr. Singham was in direct contact with the other accused. They were purportedly found to be discussing how to create a map of India without Kashmir and to project Arunachal Pradesh as a disputed area.

“To achieve the above objective the accused persons in the guise of foreign funds received money of more than ₹115 crore in the companies named as PPK NewsClick, GSPAN India, JJ Enterprises, Virtunet System,” the police had earlier alleged.

The police have also alleged a conspiracy to extend legal aid to two Chinese telecom companies which are facing tax evasion cases in India.

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