Delhi court extends custody of NewsClick founder, HRtext_fields
New Delhi: The judicial NewsClick founder-editor Prabir Purkayastha and HR head Amit Chakraborty were extended by 21 days by a Delhi court on Thursday. The duo were arrested by the Delhi Police in a case of receiving illegal funds from China, The Indian Express reported.
According to the case, they received the funds, routing through the United States.
In August, the special cell registered an FIR under sections pertaining to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The two were sent to a month's judicial custody in November.
The allegations that were levelled against Purkayastha include attempts to show Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh as "not parts of India", discrediting the Indian government's fight against Covid, funding the farmers' agitation, and putting up a spirited defence of legal cases" against Chinese telecom companies such as Xiaomi and Vivo, reports TIE.
The duo were arrested after day-long searches at 50 locations that are linked to the news media, its employees and contributors.
The Delhi Police claimed, after the searches in the Nationa Capital Region and Mumbai, that 46 suspects were questioned, and their digital devices were seized and sealed in the news portal's office.
Earlier, Chakravarty's counsel submitted before the court that his client holds a mere 0.09 per cent stake in the company and plays no role in journalism and management.
The Special Cell of Delhi Police had arrested Purkayastha and Chakravarty on October 3. A day after their arrest, the judge had sent them to seven days of police custody on October 4.
Both then moved to the high court, challenging their police remand, which was upheld by the high court. The duo has now taken the matter to the Supreme Court against the dismissal of their petitions challenging police remand, and on October 19, the apex court issued notices to Delhi Police on the petitions.
The bench comprising Justice B.R. Gavai and Justice P. K. Mishra heard the pleas and issued notices returnable in three weeks.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Purkayastha, had earlier argued before the high court that "all facts are false and not a penny came from China".