All sanctions obtained for prosecution in NewsClick case: Delhi Police to Court

New Delhi: The Delhi Police on Tuesday informed a court here that it has obtained all the necessary sanctions for the prosecution of the accused in the NewsClick case over allegations that the news portal took money to spread pro-China propaganda.

As per Special Public Prosecutor Akhand Pratap Singh three different sanction orders under section 45 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and under Section 196 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) have been secured, which are being filed in the form of supplementary chargesheets.

In light of these submissions, Additional Sessions Judge Hardeep Kaur of Patiala House Courts deferred the matter for April 30.

The court will also decide on whether to take cognisance of the charge sheet filed in the case on the next date of hearing.

The judge said that she would need to read the charge sheet before taking cognisance of the matter.

The Special Cell of Delhi Police on March 30 filed its first charge sheet running into over 9,000 pages against NewsClick Founder and Editor-in-Chief Prabir Purkayastha under the provisions of the UAPA.

The prosecutors had earlier stated that sanctions under Section 45 of UAPA and Section 196 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) were awaited, which would be filed in the form of a supplementary charge sheet very soon.

Along with Prabir Purkayastha, PPK Newsclick Studio Pvt Ltd (news portal) has also been made an accused.

The judicial custody of Prabir Purkayastha and Amit Chakravarty, the HR head of NewsClick has also been extended.

On January 9, the court granted permission to Amit Chakravarty to become an approver in the case after he had filed an application seeking pardon.

He claimed to possess material information, which he was willing to disclose to the Delhi Police.

According to official sources, the charge sheet also contains information regarding 480 electronic devices confiscated during the various raids conducted during the probe.

Prabir Purkayastha has been accused of accepting foreign funds to destabilise the country, sources said.

The sources told IANS that Prabir Purkayastha has been identified as the primary suspect, while Amit Chakravarty has been granted the role of a witness.

The charge sheet alleges that Prabir Purkayastha accepted funds to undermine the stability of the nation by fabricating narratives and attempting to disrupt the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the sources said.

As per the FIR filed by the Delhi Police on August 17 last year, substantial sums of money were clandestinely transferred from China through a convoluted route.

This money was then utilised to disseminate paid news articles deliberately criticising India’s domestic policies and developmental initiatives while endorsing, advocating, and defending policies and initiatives of the Chinese government.

The allegations against NewsClick are that it received approximately Rs 38 crore in funding from abroad, the sources said.

IANS

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