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Delhi Police Files First Chargesheet Against Newsclick Founder Under UAPA

Delhi Police has filed its first chargesheet against Newsclick for alleged pro-China propaganda, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

NewsClick Founder Prabir Purkayastha
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The Special Cell of Delhi Police has taken a significant step in its investigation into allegations of pro-China propaganda by filing its first chargesheet against news portal Newsclick. The case, registered under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of 1967, has drawn attention for its implications on media integrity and foreign influence.

The chargesheet, consisting of nearly 8000 pages with annexures, was presented before Additional Sessions Judge Dr. Hardeep Kaur at the Patiala House Court. The accused named in the chargesheet include Prabir Purkayastha, founder and editor-in-chief of NewsClick, and PPK Newsclick Studio Pvt Ltd.

During the court hearing, Special Public Prosecutors Advocate Akhand Pratap Singh and Suraj Rathi requested deferral of cognisance, citing pending sanctions under relevant sections of the law. These sanctions are crucial for further legal proceedings and are expected to be included in a supplementary chargesheet.

Acknowledging these submissions, the court scheduled arguments on the cognisance point for April 16, 2024. This development follows an extension granted to Delhi Police by the Patiala House Court last year, allowing additional time for the filing of the chargesheet.

Prabir Purkayastha and Newsclick have emerged as the prime accused in the case, while Amit Chakraborty, head of the human resource department at Newsclick, has turned approver. Both Purkayastha and Chakraborty were arrested on October 3, 2023, under stringent provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.

The arrests of Prabir Purkayastha and Amit Chakravarty took place on October 3, 2023, under stringent provisions of the UAPA and relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including sections 153A and 120B.

According to the FIR filed by Delhi Police, substantial foreign funds were illegally funnelled into India by both Indian and foreign entities, allegedly with intentions detrimental to the country's sovereignty, territorial integrity, and security.

The FIR also pointed out the alleged utilisation of the People's Dispatch Portal, owned and operated by PPK Newsclick Studio Pvt. Ltd., for disseminating false narratives through paid news, purportedly in exchange for significant sums of illegally routed foreign funds.

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