NewsClick's HR head withdraws from SC plea against arrest under UAPA

NewsClick's HR head withdraws plea against UAPA arrest
NewsClick HR Head Amit Chakravarty  withdraws from SC plea against arrest under UAPA
NewsClick HR Head Amit Chakravarty withdraws from SC plea against arrest under UAPA

New Delhi | NewsClick's human resources department head Amit Chakravarty on Monday withdrew from the Supreme Court his petition against his arrest under the anti-terror law, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Earlier this month, a Delhi court had allowed Chakravarty to turn an approver in the case lodged against the news portal under UAPA over allegations that it received money to spread pro-China propaganda.

The separate pleas filed by Chakravarty and NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha against their arrest under the anti-terror law came up for hearing before a bench headed by Justice B R Gavai.

An advocate appearing in the matter requested the bench, also comprising Justices Sanjay Karol and Sandeep Mehta, that Chakravarty be allowed to withdraw his plea.

"Let him withdraw if he wants to withdraw," Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, representing the Delhi Police, told the bench, while responding to the lawyer's prayer.

The bench allowed Chakravarty to withdraw the plea.

Raju told the bench that the other petition filed by Purkayastha has to be heard.

The bench posted the matter for hearing on January 30.

A Delhi court had earlier this month pardoned Chakravarty on an application he moved seeking the court's permission to turn an approver.

Chakravarty had claimed he was in possession of "material information" about the case which he was willing to disclose to the Delhi Police.

On October 19 last year, the top court had sought the response of the Delhi Police on pleas of Purkayastha and Chakravarty challenging the Delhi High Court order of October 13, 2023. The high court had dismissed their pleas against arrest and subsequent police remand in the case.

Both were arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police on October 3 last year.

They had subsequently moved the high court challenging the arrest as well as the seven-day police custody, and sought immediate release as interim relief.

The court, however, refused to grant them relief, saying there was no procedural infirmity or violation of the provisions of the UAPA in arresting them.

The city police have booked the two under UAPA for allegedly receiving money to spread pro-China propaganda.

According to the FIR, a large amount of funds to the news portal allegedly came from China to "disrupt the sovereignty of India" and cause disaffection against the country.

It also alleged that Purkayastha conspired with a group -- People's Alliance for Democracy and Secularism (PADS) -- to sabotage the electoral process during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

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