NewsClick founder moves Supreme Court against arrest under anti-terror law

NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha when brought to Patiala House Court by Delhi Police's Special Cell. Photo: PTI

New Delhi: NewsClick founder and its HR head on Monday moved the Supreme Court challenging the Delhi High Court's order refusing to interfere with their arrest under anti-terror law UAPA.

A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra took note of the submissions of senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, appearing for Prabir Purkayastha and Amit Chakravarty, that the matter needed an urgent hearing and asked him to circulate the case papers.
"This is the NewsClick matter. The journalists are in police custody. Here one of the accused is a 75-year-old man, Sibal said.

The Chief Justice of India said he would take a call on the listing.
On October 13, a Delhi High Court bench dismissed the plea against the arrest and subsequent police remand of Purkayastha and Chakravarty in the case. Both were arrested by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police on October 3.

They subsequently moved the high court challenging the arrest as well as the seven-day police custody and sought immediate release as interim relief.
On October 10, the trial court sent them to judicial custody for 10 days.

A case has been lodged against the two under the anti-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (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 PTI inputs)

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