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UAPA case: NewsClick founder, HR head sent to judicial custody until 1 Dec
Arrested on 3 October, the duo was produced before Special Judge Hardeep Kaur of Patiala House Court
A Delhi court on Thursday sent NewsClick founder-editor Prabir Purkayastha and Human Resources head Amit Chakravarty to judicial custody until 1 December in a case lodged under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
On completion of their police custody, which the police had sought on 25 October, the duo was produced before Special Judge Hardeep Kaur of Patiala House Court.
On 31 October, the court had granted Delhi Police time until 10 November to file a reply to an application by Purkayastha seeking release of his electronic devices seized by the police.
Both Purkayastha and Chakravarty moved the court seeking release of electronic devices seized by police and bail, respectively, in a case lodged under the provisions of the UAPA. Kaur had granted time to Delhi Police till 4 November to file a reply on Chakravarty’s bail application.
On 25 October, Kaur had sent the duo to police custody after they told the court that they had the right to seek further custody of Purkayastha and Chakravarty, and needed to confront them with protected witnesses and electronic material recovered. They were produced before court on expiry of their five-day judicial custody.
Additional public prosecutor (APP) for police Atul Srivastava had told the court that they have the right to seek further custody and therefore, they are exercising the same. ASJ Kaur had then sent the duo to police custody until 2 November.
The Special Cell of Delhi Police had arrested Purkayastha and Chakravarty on 3 October. A day after their arrest, Kaur had sent them to a week's police custody on 4 October. Both then moved 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 19 October, the apex court had issued notices to Delhi Police on the petitions. The bench comprising Justice BR Gavai and Justice PK 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".
In August, a New York Times investigation had indicated that NewsClick was funded by a network linked to US millionaire Neville Roy Singham, to allegedly promote Chinese propaganda.
On 3 October, in a statement regarding the search, seizure and detentions carried out in connection with the UAPA case registered by the Special Cell, Delhi Police had said a total of 37 male suspects were questioned at the office premises, while nine female suspects were questioned at their residences.
The police said that digital devices, documents, etc., were seized or collected for examination. The Special Cell had registered an FIR in connection with the case on 17 August under different sections of the UAPA and the Indian Penal Code against NewsClick.