Delhi HC Reserves Judgment on NewsClick Editor and HR Head’s Arrest

Delhi HC Reserves Judgment on NewsClick Editor and HR Head's Arrest Image: NewsClick.in
Delhi HC Reserves Judgment on NewsClick Editor and HR Head's Arrest Image: NewsClick.in
Delhi HC Reserves Judgment on NewsClick Editor and HR Head's Arrest Image: NewsClick.in
Delhi HC Reserves Judgment on NewsClick Editor and HR Head's Arrest Image: NewsClick.in

Delhi HC Reserves Judgment on NewsClick Editor and HR Head’s Arrest

Delhi HC Reserves Judgment on NewsClick Editor and HR Head’s Arrest

Delhi HC Reserves Judgment on NewsClick Editor and HR Head’s Arrest

In a significant legal development, the Delhi High Court has reserved its judgment on the pleas submitted by NewsClick editor Prabir Purkayastha and the news portal’s Human Resources (HR) head Amit Chakraborty. These pleas challenge their arrest, subsequent remand, and the FIR registered against them under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), allegedly linked to a Chinese funding case.

Legal Proceedings and Key Arguments

Justice Tushar Rao Gedela presided over the hearings, which spanned over two hours, and made it clear that the high court would determine at a later stage whether it should issue notices and entertain the pleas aimed at quashing the FIR.

As the legal proceedings reconvened on Monday, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Prabir Purkayastha, highlighted that the Delhi Police had not yet provided the grounds for the arrest. Sibal vehemently asserted, “All these things mentioned are false. Not a penny has come from China. But today we are on the issue of whether grounds of arrest were furnished or not.”

In the preceding hearing, Sibal had emphasized that both accused individuals were entitled to legal counsel according to High Court rules. Furthermore, he pointed out an alleged ‘overwriting’ in the remand application, suggesting that it had been surreptitiously added at a later stage.

Contested Issues and Legal Complexities

The trial court’s decision to grant a 7-day remand of Prurkayastha and Chakraborty to the Delhi Police was challenged by Sibal, who contended that although legal aid counsel was present, they were not duly informed.

Chakraborty’s counsel argued that his client suffered from a severe disability, with 59% paralysis in both legs due to polio. Surprisingly, this disability was not mentioned in the remand application.

On the opposing side, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Delhi Police, underscored the gravity of the allegations, which involve the receipt of approximately 75 crores and the alleged compromise of the nation’s stability and integrity. He contended that these details were thoroughly documented in the case diary.

Background and Allegations

The arrest of NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha and HR chief Amit Chakraborty on October 3rd followed a significant operation by the Delhi Police. This operation involved the search of 30 locations connected with the online news portal and its journalists. The case, filed under the anti-terror law UAPA, centers around allegations that NewsClick received funding for pro-China propaganda.

The Delhi High Court’s impending judgment will be eagerly awaited as it addresses complex legal issues, including the grounds for arrest, allegations of overwriting in official documents, and the representation of disabled individuals in legal proceedings.

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