Delhi High Court on Friday refused to interfere with the arrest and remand of NewsClick editor-in-chief Prabir Purkayastha and HR head Amit Chakraborty in a case registered under the anti-terror law UAPA.
“The court does not find merit in both petitions,” Justice Tushar Rao Gedela said, dismissing pleas from Purkayastha and Chakraborty that challenged their October 3 arrest and seven-day police remand.
The pleas were filed soon after their arrest. On October 10, the trial court sent them to judicial custody for 10 days.
Purkayastha and Chakraborty had contended that the grounds of arrest had not been provided to them when they were arrested, and that the trial court order for police remand was passed in the absence of their lawyers. They had sought immediate release as interim relief.
Delhi police’s special cell had raided NewsClick and several associated journalists on October 3, and arrested Purkayastha and Chakraborty in a terror case alleging the news portal received funds illegally from a US-based firm linked to the Communist Party of China.
The police FIR linked NewsClick to a “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”.
NewsClick has rejected the allegations and said the case is "nothing but a blatant attempt to muzzle the free and independent press in India".