CBI files FCRA violation case against NewsClick, raids 2 locations in Delhitext_fields
New Delhi: The CBI has registered a case on the allegations of violations of FCRA provisions against NewsClick, including its editor Prabir Purkayastha and others.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday also carried out searches at two locations in the national capital on the office premises of NewsClick and its editor Purkayastha, who was arrested on October 3.
A CBI spokesperson here said that the agency has registered a case against NewsClick, based in Delhi and others, including its Director.
The official said that it was alleged that NewsClick had received unexplained export remittance of Rs 28.46 crore through four foreign entities in violation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) provisions.
“It has also been alleged that there was an unexplained receipt of foreign fund of Rs 9.59 crore by incorrect characterization of the fund as FDI. The Director of said private company with his close associates had allegedly violated the provisions of FCRA, 2010,” the official said.
The official further said that the provisions of FCRA, 2010, prohibiting acceptance of foreign contributions by the company engaged in the production and broadcast of audio-visual news or current affairs programme through any electronic mode and by any correspondent or columnist or writer or owner of such company, were violated.
The development comes days after the Delhi Police's Special Cell raided multiple locations in the national capital, including the premises of NewsClick and journalists associated with it in connection with a case registered under the provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The raid was conducted on October 3 at 88 locations in Delhi and seven in other states, and 46 journalists and contributors to NewsClick were questioned by the Special Cell in Delhi and NCR.
While the 37 male suspects were questioned at the office premises, nine female suspects were questioned at their respective places of stay.
The Delhi Police also seized more than 300 electronic gadgets from the office of NewsClick and the residences of its journalists. The Police also sealed the office of NewsClick in connection with its probe into the case.
The Special Cell of Delhi Police arrested Purkayastha and Chakravarty on the same day. They were sent to seven days of police custody.
The Delhi High Court had on Monday reserved its order on the petitions filed by Purkayastha and Chakravarty challenging their arrest and the subsequent 7-day police remand.
The Special Cell had registered an FIR in the case on August 17 under different sections of the UAPA and the Indian Penal Code against NewsClick.
In August, a New York Times investigation had accused NewsClick of being an organisation funded by a network linked with US millionaire Neville Roy Singham, to allegedly promote Chinese propaganda.
Purkayastha and Chakravarty were sent to 10 days of judicial custody by a Delhi court on Tuesday.
With inputs from agencies