National

Supreme Court Defers Hearing On Petitions Filed By NewsClick Founder Prabir Purkayastha, HR Head Against Their Arrests

A bench comprising Justices BR Gavai and Prashant Kumar Mishra informed senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who was representing both accused, that the court would address the petitions after the upcoming Diwali vacation period.

Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court on Monday deferred the post-Diwali vacation hearing regarding the petitions filed by Prabir Purkayastha, the founder of NewsClick, and its HR head, Amit Chakravarty, who are contesting their arrest under the anti-terror law UAPA.

A bench comprising Justices BR Gavai and Prashant Kumar Mishra informed senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who was representing both accused, that the court would address the petitions after the vacation period.

Sibal highlighted that this case falls under the recent judgment of the apex court, which mandates that grounds for arrest must be promptly shared with the accused. However, in this instance, no such information was provided. Sibal also mentioned that there is a pending application for medical bail.

The bench assured that it would address the medical bail application along with the main case after the Diwali vacation.

Earlier, on October 19, the Supreme Court had sought a response from the Delhi Police regarding the pleas of Purkayastha and Chakravarty challenging the Delhi High Court's order issued on October 13.

The high court, on October 13, had dismissed their pleas against their arrest and subsequent police custody. Both individuals were arrested by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police on October 3. They had subsequently approached the high court to challenge their arrest and the seven-day police custody, seeking immediate release as interim relief.

However, the high court declined to grant them relief, asserting that there was no procedural irregularity or violation of the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in their arrests.

The city police has lodged cases against the two under UAPA for allegedly receiving money to spread pro-China propaganda.

According to the FIR, a large amount of funds to the news portal allegedly came from China to "disrupt the sovereignty of India" and cause disaffection against the country.

It also alleged that Purkayastha conspired with a group -- People's Alliance for Democracy and Secularism (PADS) -- to sabotage the electoral process during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

On November 2, a Delhi court had sent Purkayastha and Chakravarty to judicial custody till December 1 in the case.

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