NewsClick Row: Delhi Court Takes Cognizance of Chargesheet against Founder Prabir Purkayastha


Delhi’s Patiala House Court on Tuesday took cognizance of a charge sheet filed against NewsClick founder and Editor-in-Chief Prabir Purkayastha under the anti-terror law UAPA.

The case revolves around allegations that the news portal received funds to disseminate pro-China propaganda.

The Judge

Additional Sessions Judge Hardeep Kaur deemed the evidence against the accused sufficient and directed the prosecution to furnish a copy of the charge sheet to Purkayastha. May 31 has been slated for arguments on framing charges in the case.

HR Head Turned Approver

In January, the court permitted NewsClick HR Head Amit Chakravarty to become an approver in the case. Chakravarty, who was arrested, was pardoned by the judge upon his application, citing material information he was willing to disclose to the Delhi Police, the investigating authority.


The Special Cell of Delhi Police arrested Chakravarty and Purkayastha on October 3 last year, and they are presently in judicial custody.

The FIR alleges that a substantial amount of funds received by the news portal originated from China with the intention to disrupt India’s sovereignty and sow disaffection against the country. Purkayastha is also accused of conspiring with the People’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism (PADS) to undermine the electoral process during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

On October 3, raids were conducted at 88 locations in Delhi and seven in other states against the suspects named in the FIR and those identified through data analysis.

The police seized approximately 300 electronic gadgets from NewsClick offices and the residences of the journalists who were interrogated. Following the raids, the Special Cell questioned 46 individuals, including nine female journalists.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte