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NewsClick row: HC issues notice to Delhi Police on Prabir Purkayastha's plea against UAPA FIR

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NewsClick row: HC issues notice to Delhi Police on Prabir
 Purkayastha's plea against UAPA FIR

New Delhi, Feb 16 (Ajit Weekly News) The Delhi High Court on Friday issued a notice to the Delhi Police on a plea by NewsClick founder, Prabir Purkayastha, challenging the FIR in a case lodged under the provisions of the UAPA over allegations that the media outlet received money to spread pro-China propaganda.

During the proceedings, Advocate Zoheb Hossain, representing the police, opposed the issuance of notice, citing subsequent developments in the case, notably the involvement of former NewsClick Human Resources (HR) head, Amit Chakravarty, as an approver.

Hossain argued that the alleged offences were prima facie established against the accused. Senior Advocate Dayan Krishnan, representing Purkayastha, contested these claims, prompting Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma to issue notice to consider the Delhi Police’s response.

The court stated the importance of following due process and said: “If I don’t issue notice, how will I look into your reply? How will I even read that… Why should I adopt a different procedure? What difference does it make if I issue notice.”

Ultimately, the court proceeded to issue notice in the matter and scheduled further consideration for July 10.

Notably, despite Purkayastha’s plea being listed on four previous occasions, no notice was issued until Friday.

On October 13, 2023, Purkayastha and Chakravarty’s petitions challenging their arrest and remand were rejected by the high court.

This decision has been appealed before the Supreme Court and remains pending before it.

The high court on February 7 also reserved its order on the bail plea of Chakravarty.

On January 9, Delhi’s Patiala House Court had granted permission to Chakravarty to become an approver in the case after he filed an application before Special Judge Hardeep Kaur, seeking pardon in the ongoing case.

The trial court had, on January 29, extended till February 17 judicial custody of NewsClick founder-editor Prabir Purkayastha and Chakravarty in the case.

In August, a New York Times investigation accused NewsClick of being an organisation funded by a network linked with US millionaire Neville Roy Singham, to allegedly promote Chinese propaganda.

–Ajit Weekly News

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