A Delhi court on Tuesday (9 January) granted permission for Amit Chakravarty, the human resources department chief at NewsClick, to become an approver in the case filed against the news portal under the anti-terror law UAPA.
The case alleges that the news portal received money to disseminate pro-China propaganda. Court sources cited by The New Indian Express suggested that Special Judge Hardeep Kaur pardoned Chakravarty, who had been arrested in the case.
Chakravarty had recently submitted an application seeking the court's approval to become an approver. This decision could potentially pose difficulties for NewsClick's Editor-in-Chief and founder, Prabir Purkayastha.
Chakravarty asserted that he possesses "material information" related to the case, which he is willing to disclose to the Delhi Police.
The Special Cell of Delhi Police arrested both Purkayastha and Chakravarty on 3 October, and they are currently in judicial custody.
In accordance with the FIR, a substantial amount of funds allegedly came from China to the news portal with the intent to "disrupt the sovereignty of India" and foster disaffection against the country.
The FIR also accused Purkayastha of conspiring with a group, the People's Alliance for Democracy and Secularism (PADS), to undermine the electoral process during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Raids were carried out at 88 locations in Delhi and seven in other states on 3 October, targeting individuals mentioned in the FIR and those identified during data analysis.
Approximately 300 electronic devices were seized from NewsClick's offices and the residences of the examined journalists. Following the raids, the Special Cell questioned 46 individuals, including nine female journalists.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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