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NewsClick founder, HR head move SC against HC order dismissing plea against arrest in UAPA case

New Delhi: NewsClick founder and Editor-in-chief, Prabir Purkayastha and its HR head, Amit Chakraborty have approached the Supreme Court challenging the Delhi High Court order dismissing their plea challenging their arrest by Delhi police in a case lodged under anti-terror law the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Upon a mentioning made by senior advocate Kapil Sibal, a bench of Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra said the matter would be looked into giving urgent date.

Sibal, appearing for accused duo Purkayastha and Chakraborty, said, “This is the NewsClick matter. The journalist is in the police custody. He is a over 70-year old man.”

The Delhi High Court in its order on October 13, 2023 had rejected the petitions filed by accused duo– Purkayastha and Chakraborty — challenging their arrest and remand in the UAPA case.

Justice Tushar Rao Gedela had rejected the petitions filed by Purkayastha and Chakraborty challenging the remand order.

According to the prosecution, the accused duo were charged with receiving money to spread pro-China propaganda.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the investigation agency, had claimed the ongoing investigation involved “serious offences” as a huge sum of money, about Rs 75 crore, was received from a person who is staying in China and “the purpose is to ensure that integrity and stability of the country is compromised”.

The HC had said the petitioners had raised no grievance at all “of an illegal remand order while filing an application seeking a copy of FIR when the remand order was passed on October 04, 2023”.

It had also held the Supreme Court’s judgement in Pankaj Bansal –for supplying the grounds of arrest by the Enforcement Directorate at the time of arrest –is not applicable to the facts and the law in the petition.

“The plea challenging the arrest of the present petitioner on the grounds of non furnishing of grounds of arrest are, similarly, held to be untenable and is accordingly rejected,” it had said.

(Published 16 October 2023, 06:16 IST)

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