A Delhi court on Thursday sent NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha and its HR department head Amit Chakravarty to judicial custody till December 1 in a case lodged under anti-terror law UAPA over allegations that the news portal received money to spread pro-China propaganda.
Special Judge Hardeep Kaur sent both the accused to jail after they were produced before the court on expiry of their custodial interrogation by Delhi Police. The court had granted the city police their remand for a second time on October 25 setting aside their counsel Arshdeep Singh Khurana’s contention that no new ground for it was mentioned in the application.
The Special Cell of Delhi Police had arrested Purkayastha and Chakravarty on October 3.
They were sent to judicial custody earlier on October 10.
The police, however, sought their fresh custodial interrogation on October 25.
According to the FIR, a large amount of funds received by the news portal came from China to “disrupt the sovereignty of India” and cause disaffection against the country.
It also alleged 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 October 3 on the suspects named in the FIR and those that surfaced in the 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 female journalists, were questioned by the Special Cell in Delhi and NCR.