ANI Photo | Newsclick Editor Prabir Purkayastha, HR head Amit Chakravarty sent to 9-day police remand

The Patiala House Court of Delhi on Wednesday sent founder and Editor-in-chief of Newsclick Prabir Purkayastha and its Human Resources head Amit Chakravarty to Delhi Police custody till November 2.
The duo were arrested recently in a case filed under the anti-terror law UAPA following allegations that the news portal NewsClick received huge money for pro-China propaganda.
Additional Sessions Judge Hardeep Kaur allowed the Delhi Police application, which sought nine days of further custodial remand of Prabir Prukayastha and Amit Chakravarty.
Purkayastha and Chakravarty were today produced in court after the end of their Judicial custody period. The pair were earlier granted 10 days and 5 days Judicial custody by the same court.
According to the Delhi Police plea, their custodial interrogation was required to confront them with some protected witnesses, and some devices that were examined and the data which was extracted.
Purkayastha’s advocate Arshdeep Singh Khurana while opposing the Delhi Police plea for custodial remand stated that the police should at least show the court what new thing they have unearthed.
“You have to unearth conspiracy, what were you doing for 25 days. FIR is from August. They have been in Judicial Custody from the 10th of this month. Not even one day they examined them during Judicial Custody. If they want to confront him with retrieved data that can happen in Judicial Custody, why is police custody needed?” the lawyer asked.
Earlier, the lawyer argued on behalf of Prabir Purkayastha that his client had responded to all queries posed to during questioning.
“I’ve answered all their queries. In the matter of EoW (Delhi Police) and ED, I was protected by Delhi High Court in 2021, which orders are continuing even till today. The allegations made in FIR are absolutely absurd. There is no allegation that I used bomb dynamite or any other explosive substance. There is no allegation that I used any criminal force or that I caused death of any public functionary. How can I by reporting, by acting or by having profession as a journalist, can I commit terrorist act? If I through an article raised question over Central Government Covid policy, is this the act of terrorism?” Purkayastha submitted through his lawyer.
“They (Agency) filed FIR under stringent sections of UAPA. Agency’s allegation is that I’m associated with Gautam Navlakha who is facing UAPA charges. And since he is facing UAPA charges, you also face UAPA charges. Mere association with someone has become a crime? He is a fellow journalist. I have known him from 1991. Now you are suddenly targeting me because of this association?” Purkayastha submitted.
Advocate Rohit Sharma who appeared for Amit Chakravarty HR Head stated that he was not a journalist and did not write any article and since 2021 he had been summoned by agencies on various occasions and a lot of his information about bank accounts, emails – everything has been seized.
“I’ve never been arrested. I’m not responsible in any way for the content that is published on the website and I perform administrative tasks… but I don’t know I have been suddenly arrested in the case,” Chakravarty stated.
The Delhi Police’s Special Cell in its FIR against Purkayastha stated that People’s Dispatch Portal, owned and maintained by PPK Newsclick Studio Pvt. Ltd. has been used for intentionally peddling false narratives through paid news in lieu of crores of rupees of illegally routed foreign funds as part of conspiracy.
Delhi Police FIR further stated that foreign funds in crores have been infused illegally in India by Indian and foreign entities inimical to India in pursuance of conspiracy with the intention to disrupt sovereignty and territorial integrity of India, to cause disaffection against India and to threaten the unity, integrity, and security of India

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