NewsClick Case: Police Files Chargesheet Before Delhi Court


The Special Cell of the Delhi Police filed chargesheet against the news portal Newsclick on Saturday. The case was registered under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, following allegations that the news portal received significant funds for pro-China propaganda.

The chargesheet, comprising nearly 8000 pages with annexures, has been filed before the Additional Sessions Judge Dr. Hardeep Kaur at the Patiala House Court.

Special Public Prosecutors Advocate Akhand Pratap Singh and Suraj Rathi informed the court that the chargesheet named Prabir Purkayastha, founder and editor-in-chief of NewsClick, and PPK Newsclick Studio Pvt Ltd as accused.

During the hearing, SPPs Akhand Pratap Singh and Suraj Rathi requested the court to defer cognizance, citing pending sanctions under section 45 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and section 196 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), for prosecution for offences against the state and for criminal conspiracy to commit such offences. They mentioned that these would be filed as a supplementary chargesheet soon. Noting the submissions, the court scheduled arguments on the cognizance point for April 16, 2024.

Earlier, the Court granted extensions to the Delhi Police for filing the chargesheet, first for two months and then an additional 20 days in February this year.

Prabir Purkayastha and Newsclick are the prime accused, while Amit Chakraborty has been turned approver in the case. They were arrested on October 3, 2023, under stringent provisions of UAPA and IPC sections 153A and 120B.

According to the Delhi Police FIR, foreign funds amounting to crores have been illegally infused in India by Indian and foreign entities hostile to India, as part of a conspiracy to disrupt its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to cause disaffection and threaten its unity, integrity, and security.

The FIR further stated that the People’s Dispatch Portal, owned and maintained by M/S PPK Newsclick Studio Pvt. Ltd., has been utilized to intentionally disseminate false narratives through paid news, in exchange for crores of rupees of illegally routed foreign funds as part of the conspiracy.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte