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Judicial Custody of NewsClick Editor, HR Head Extended Until Nov 2

A Delhi court on Wednesday extended by eight days the judicial custody of NewsClick founder-editor Prabir Purkayastha and Human Resources head Amit Chakravarty, arrested in a case lodged under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The duo was produced before the Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Hardeep Kaur on expiry of their previously extended five-day custody.

ASJ Kaur extended their judicial custody till November 2.

The Special Cell of Delhi Police had arrested Purkayastha and Chakravarty on October 3. A day after their arrest, Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Hardeep Kaur of Patiala House Courts had sent them to seven days’ police custody on October 4. Both then moved the high court challenging their police remand, which was upheld by the high court.

The duo has now taken the matter to the Supreme Court against the dismissal of their petitions challenging police remand, and on October 19, the apex court had issued notices to Delhi Police on the petitions. The bench comprising Justice B.R. Gavai and Justice P.K. Mishra heard the pleas and issued notices returnable in three weeks. The top court will hear the matter on October 30.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Purkayastha, had earlier argued before the High Court that “all facts are false and not a penny came from China”.

On October 3, in a statement regarding the search, seizure and detentions carried out in connection with the UAPA case registered by the Special Cell, the Delhi Police had said that a total of 37 male suspects were questioned at the office premises, while nine female suspects were questioned at their residences.

The police said that digital devices, documents, etc., were seized or collected for examination. The Special Cell had registered an FIR in connection with the case on August 17 under different sections of the UAPA and the Indian Penal Code against NewsClick.

In August, a ‘New York Times’ investigation had accused NewsClick of being an organisation funded by a network linked with US millionaire Neville Roy Singham, to allegedly promote Chinese propaganda.

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