NewsClick case: Delhi Police opposes bail plea of HR head
Counsel appearing for the defendant claimed he was not named as an accused in the FIR and owned only 0.09 per cent share in NewsClick
Delhi Police on Friday opposed NewsClick HR department head Amit Chakravarty's bail application before a Delhi court in a case lodged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) over allegations that the news portal received money to spread pro-China propaganda.
In a brief hearing, police questioned the maintainability of the application before special judge Hardeep Kaur and sought the dismissal of the plea.
The counsel appearing for Chakravarty claimed that he was not named as an accused in the FIR. "Chakravarty only has 0.09 per cent share in NewsClick, and he has no role in the management or the journalism," the counsel submitted.
After hearing the arguments, the judge adjourned the matter for 24 November. The special cell of Delhi Police had arrested Chakravarty along with NewsClick founder and editor-in-chief Prabir Purkayastha on 3 October. Both are currently in judicial custody.
According to the FIR, a large amount of funds to the news portal came from China to "disrupt the sovereignty of India" and cause disaffection against the country.
It also alleged that Purkayastha conspired with a group — People's Alliance for Democracy and Secularism (PADS) — to sabotage the electoral process during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Raids were conducted at 88 locations in Delhi and seven in other states on 3 October on the suspects named in the FIR and other people whose names surfaced during analysis of data, police said.
Around 300 electronic gadgets were also seized from the offices of NewsClick and residences of the journalists who were examined.
Following the raids, 46 individuals, including nine women journalists, were questioned by the Special Cell in Delhi-NCR.