Delhi HC reserves its order on NewsClick HR head’s bail plea in UAPA case

New Delhi, May 3 : The Delhi High Court on Friday reserved its order on the bail plea of NewsClick’s Human Resources head Amit Chakravarty, in a case lodged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act over allegations that the media outlet received money to spread pro-China propaganda.

On Tuesday, Delhi’s Patiala House Court took cognisance of Delhi Police’s first charge sheet filed against the news portal’s founder-editor Prabir Purkayastha, Chakravarty, and others. The matter will come up for arguments on charges on May 31.

On Friday, Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma of the Delhi High Court reserved the order following submissions from Chakravarty’s counsel, who argued that he has been named as a prosecution witness after becoming an approver, and that the charge sheet has already been filed in this case.

Chakravarty’s lawyer cited Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), which grants the high court discretionary power to grant bail.

The counsel for the Enforcement Directorate (ED) stated that the prosecution has no objection to granting relief to Chakravarty.

The Special Cell of Delhi Police on March 30 filed its charge sheet under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The judicial custody of Purkayastha and Chakravarty was also extended on Tuesday.

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

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

Alleging the portal’s role in the riots stemming out of the anti-CAA protests in 2020, the Delhi Police’s charge sheet against Purkayastha claimed that its probe revealed a deep-rooted conspiracy by the portal and others “aimed at the deliberate creation of a false narrative against the Citizenship Amendment Act”.

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