NewsClick: SC Orders Formation of Medical Board to Assess Health Condition of Editor-in-Chief


The Supreme Court directed AIIMS on Tuesday to establish a medical board to assess the health condition of Prabir Purkayastha, founder and editor-in-chief of NewsClick, currently detained in Tihar Jail under a case registered against him under the anti-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Justices B R Gavai and Sandeep Mehta directed the director of AIIMS to form the board and furnish a report within two weeks. “Considering all aspects, it is appropriate for the medical condition to be evaluated by a board appointed by the AIIMS director.

The board should also review the jail records and complete medical history of the petitioner,” they stated.

This direction came after senior advocate Kapil Sibal’s submission, representing Purkayastha, asserting that the report provided by the prison authorities regarding his client’s medical condition was inaccurate.

On October 13, the Delhi High Court dismissed the pleas filed by Purkayastha and Amit Chakravarty, head of the news portal’s human resources department, against their arrest and subsequent police remand in the case. Both were apprehended by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police on October 3.

As per the FIR filed in the case, substantial funds purportedly arrived at the news portal from China to “disrupt the sovereignty of India” and incite disaffection against the country. It further alleged that Purkayastha colluded with a group—People’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism (PADS)—to subvert the electoral process during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte