SC Finds NewsClick Founder’s Arrest under UAPA ‘Void’, Orders His Release

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday declared the arrest of NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha by Delhi police ‘invalid’ and ordered for his release.

The apex court termed the arrest by the Delhi Police under the anti-terror law as illegal.

A bench of Justices BR Gavai and Sandeep Mehta pointed out that as remand copy was not provided in the case, it makes his arrest void.

“There is no hesitation in the mind of the court that the grounds of arrest were not provided, which vitiates the arrest. The appellant is entitled to release from custody after the Pankaj Bansal case. The remand order is invalid,” said Justice Mehta.

The top court had held that grounds of arrest must be provided in writing to the accused.

Mr Purkayastha was arrested on October 3 last under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, days after a New York Times investigation alleged that NewsClick had received funding from a network pushing Chinese propaganda.

Delhi Police accused NewsClick and Mr Purkayastha of terror funding and promoting Chinese propaganda.

Delhi police also arrested NewsClick’s HR head Amit Chakravarty, who was allowed by a court to turn approver in the case.

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