Supreme Court Seeks Delhi Police's Response in NewsClick UAPA Case
Delhi: The Supreme Court has issued notice the Delhi Police to respond to the petitions filed by NewsClick founder and Editor-in-Chief Prabir Purkayastha and the news website's Human Resources head, Amit Chakraborty, challenging their police remand in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) case.
A bench comprising Justices BR Gavai and Prashant Kumar Mishra heard the special leave petition by the duo and issued notice and scheduled further consideration for October 30, 2023, Bar and Bench reported.
Prabir Purkayastha and Amit Chakraborty moved the apex court to challenge the Delhi High Court's decision, which upheld the trial court's earlier order for their police custody.
Earlier in the week, senior advocate Kapil Sibal mentioned the case in front of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud for an urgent hearing.
The arrests of Purkayastha and Chakraborty followed raids prompted by allegations in a New York Times article that NewsClick was involved in promoting Chinese propaganda for monetary gain. Their arrest occurred on October 3, and they were remanded to seven days of police custody on October 4. Alongside, several journalists, other employees and contributors of NewsClick were also raided by the police and their electronic devices were seized.
The FIR in this case alleges that the accused received substantial amounts of foreign funds with the intent to disrupt India's sovereignty, unity, and security.
Purakayastha and Chakraborty had argued before the Delhi HC that the grounds of their arrest were not given to them in writing and they received the cop of the FIR only after approaching the court, according to the Bar and Bench report.
However, the High Court rejected their argument citing that the recent Supreme Court judgment in Pankaj Bansal v. Union of India & Ors (M3M case) was not directly applicable to arrests made under the UAPA. Further, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued that even though grounds of the arrest were not provided to the duo, they were informed of them, the Live Law reported.
This decision led to the present appeals before the Supreme Court.
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