NewsClick Founder's Arrest Under UAPA Illegal: Supreme Court

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NewsClick Founder’s Arrest Under UAPA Illegal: Supreme Court

| Updated: May 15, 2024 12:30

The Supreme Court bench of Justices BR Gavai and Sandeep Mehta today declared NewsClick founder and Editor-in-Chief Prabir Purkayastha’s arrest by the Delhi police and his remand illegal. The Court ordered the release of Prabir Purkayasatha, subject to him furnishing bail and bonds to the satisfaction of the trial court.

Prabir Purkayastha is accused of receiving Chinese funds to propagate anti-national propaganda. He was arrested on October 3 last year under the dreaded Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) by Delhi Police. Purkayastha is in custody ever since.

The Supreme Court took note of the fact that the grounds of the arrest were not supplied to the accused in writing before passing the remand order on October 4, 2023. As per the rules, a copy of the remand application is required to be provided to the accused or his counsel prior to arrest. As the Delhi police had failed to furnish the same, the arrest and the remand were declared invalid in the eyes of the law and were set aside by the Supreme Court.

Prabir Purkayastha had filed a petition contesting the decision of the Delhi High Court, which upheld his arrest. The Supreme Court set aside the Delhi High Court’s judgment as well.

The Supreme Court bench also demanded to know what made the Delhi Police act in “hot haste” to produce Purkayastha before the Magistrate at 6 AM, even without informing his lawyer. The police argued that the time noted was wrong, however, the court was not convinced.

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal appeared for Purkayastha and Additional Solicitor General SV Raju appeared for the Delhi Police.

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