NewsClick case: Requisite sanction procured to prosecute Prabir Purkayastha under UAPA, police tell court

The prosecution said that the sanction documents had been filed as a part of a supplementary charge sheet in the case.


Published Apr 16, 2024 | 10:22 PMUpdatedApr 16, 2024 | 10:23 PM


Requisite sanction has been procured to prosecute NewsClick founder and Editor-in-Chief Prabir Purkayastha under anti-terror law UAPA in a case where the news portal has been accused of having received money to spread pro-China propaganda, Delhi police told a court in New Delhi on Tuesday, 16 April.

The prosecution told Additional Sessions Judge Hardeep Kaur that the sanction documents had been filed as a part of a supplementary charge sheet in the case.

The judge posted the matter for further hearing on 30 April.

Under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, an independent authority makes a recommendation to the competent authority (Central or state government) about prosecuting an accused after reviewing the evidence gathered by the investigating agency. It is for the competent authority to decide whether or not to grant sanction.

The court had in January allowed NewsClick HR Head Amit Chakravarty to turn approver in the case.

The judge had pardoned Chakravarty, also arrested in the case, on his application claiming he had “material information” he was willing to disclose to Delhi Police.

Related: Court lets NewsClick HR head Amit Chakravarty turn approver in UAPA case

The case

The Special Cell of Delhi Police had arrested Chakravarty and Purkayastha on October 3 last year. They 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 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 the residences of the journalists who were examined.

Following the raids, 46 individuals, including nine female journalists, were questioned by the Special Cell.

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