A Delhi court on Thursday sent NewsClick founder-editor Prabir Purkayastha and its HR head Amit Chakraborty to 30-day judicial custody until December 1 in connection with the case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Prabir Purkayastha and Chakraborty were arrested last month by the Delhi Police Special Cell, which had registered an FIR in August under sections of the UAPA and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Prior to this, Purkayastha and Chakraborty had spent nine days in police custody as the police alleged that new witnesses and devices had emerged in the investigation and the accused had to be confronted regarding the same. Before that, they had been in judicial custody for almost two weeks.
In a recent hearing, Purkayastha had moved the court seeking the release of the electronic devices seized by police in the case.
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Among allegations detailed by the Special Cell in its FIR against Purkayastha were attempts to show Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh as “not parts of India”; discrediting the Indian government’s fight against Covid; funding the farmers’ agitation; and “putting up a spirited defence of legal cases” against Chinese telecom companies such as Xiaomi and Vivo.
The court had earlier sent Purkayastha and Chakraborty to 10-day judicial custody after police said their custody was not needed. Their judicial custody was further extended by three days.
NewsClick had then objected to judicial custody, stating that unbiased journalism shouldn’t be considered an act of terrorism.