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

Special Judge Hardeep Kaur had last month allowed Chakravarty to turn an approver and pardoned him.

New Delhi: NewsClick’s Human Resources department chief Amit Chakravarty on Wednesday urged the Delhi High Court to grant him bail in the case lodged against the news portal under anti-terror law UAPA over allegations that it received money to spread pro-China propaganda.

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Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma reserved the order on the bail plea by Chakravarty, who turned an approver in the case last month, after the police said it has no objections if the relief is granted to him.

Chakravarty’s lawyer said that he has been granted pardon in the case by the trial court and was also cooperating in the probe. “I have been in custody since October 3, 2023, and still the matter is at the stage of investigation. No chargesheet is filed,” the lawyer told the court quoting Chakravarty.

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Special Judge Hardeep Kaur had last month allowed Chakravarty to turn an approver and pardoned him.

Chakravarty has claimed that he was in possession of “material information” about the case which he was willing to disclose to the Delhi Police.

The Special Cell of Delhi Police had arrested NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha and Chakravarty on October 3 last year and both of them are currently in judicial custody.

According to the FIR, a large amount of funds to the news portal came from China to “disrupt the sovereignty of India” and cause disaffection against the country.

It also alleged that Purkayastha conspired with a group — People’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism (PADS) — to sabotage 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 last year on the suspects named in the FIR and those that surfaced in the analysis of data, police said.

Around 300 electronic gadgets were also seized from the offices of NewsClick and the residences of the journalists who were examined.

Following the raids, 46 individuals, including nine female journalists, were questioned by the Special Cell.

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