UAPA case: Newsclick HR head Amit Chakravarty moves HC seeking bail

Delhi High Court.

New Delhi: Amit Chakravarty, the head of the Human Resources department at NewsClick, appealed to the Delhi High Court for bail in the case involving the news portal under the anti-terror law UAPA.

The allegations are that NewsClick received funds to disseminate pro-China propaganda. The order on Chakravarty’s bail plea was reserved by Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma, who considered that he had recently become an approver in the case. The police expressed no objections to granting him relief.

Chakravarty’s lawyer emphasised that he had been granted pardon by the trial court and was actively cooperating in the investigation. Despite being in custody since October 3, 2023, with no chargesheet filed, the lawyer argued that the case was still in the investigative stage. Special Judge Hardeep Kaur had previously allowed Chakravarty to become an approver and had pardoned him.

Chakravarty asserted that he possessed crucial information related to the case, which he was willing to disclose to the Delhi Police. NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha and Chakravarty were arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police on October 3, 2023, and are currently in judicial custody.

The FIR alleged that significant funds from China were directed to NewsClick to undermine India’s sovereignty and foster disaffection against the country. It also claimed that Purkayastha conspired with the People’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism (PADS) to disrupt 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, 2023, involving suspects named in the FIR and those identified through data analysis.

Electronic gadgets were seized from NewsClick’s offices and the residences of examined journalists. Following the raids, 46 individuals, including nine female journalists, were questioned by the Special Cell.

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