‘What Did You Do In 150 Days’: Court Raps Delhi Police In Newsclick Case

The Patiala House Court of Delhi on Friday granted 20 more days to Delhi Police to complete the investigation against Prabir Purkayastha, founder and Editor-in-Chief and Amit Chakravarty, HR Head of the news portal in the case registered under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, following allegations that News Portal NewsClick received huge money for pro-China propaganda.

Additional sessions judge Pawan Kumar, while extending the investigation period, also pulled up Delhi Police for taking a long time to complete the investigation and asked what they have done in the 150 days of investigation; if they had utilised these days, they would not have needed an extension.

Delhi Police through Special Public Prosecutor Advocate Akhand Pratap Singh submitted that it has taken prompt steps to conduct the probe and a large number of data has been retrieved which is being checked, there are nearly four lakh emails and more than 100 digital documents and one of the accused is residing outside India.

We are in the process of appreciating evidence and summarising them, added the Delhi Police

Meanwhile, the Court has extended the Judicial Custody of the arrested accused till March 15, 2024.

In October last year, the Delhi Police arrested Purkayastha and Newsclick HR Head Amit Chakraborty under the provisions of UAPA. Bother the accused the presently in Judicial Custody.

Recently the Court allowed Amit Chakravarty to turn approver in the case. The approver, an accomplice who decides to testify against the co-accused in exchange for a pardon, is subject to examination and treatment under the CrPC. Safeguards are in place to prevent coerced or deceitful confessions, and the approver’s testimony must be supported by corroborative evidence as per the law.

Amit Chakravarty has also moved a bail plea in Delhi High Court after turning approver in the case. The Delhi High Court has yet to pass an order on his bail application.

The Delhi Police’s Special Cell, in its FIR against Purkayastha, stated that the People’s Dispatch Portal, owned and maintained by PPK Newsclick Studio Pvt. Ltd., has been used for intentionally peddling false narratives through paid news in place of crores of illegally routed foreign funds as part of a conspiracy.

The FIR further stated that foreign funds in crores have been infused illegally in India by Indian and foreign entities inimical to India in pursuance of a conspiracy to disrupt the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India, to cause disaffection against India and to threaten the unity, integrity, and security of India.

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