NewsClick founder allowed to meet lawyer, Delhi court to decide over FIR on Thursday

New Delhi, Oct 4 (IANS): After a Delhi court remanded NewsClick founder and editor Prabir Purkayastha, and HR head Amit Chakravarty to seven days of police custody on Wednesday, they have been now allowed to meet their lawyer besides grant of a copy of the remand order.

The Special Cell of Delhi Police had arrested them on Tuesday under anti-terror law, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The accused persons moved an application also seeking a copy of the First Information Report (FIR), however, Additional Sessions Judge Hardeep Kaur of Patiala House Courts said that she will decide on it on Thursday.

Advocate Arshdeep Singh, representing Puryakastha, argued that they have the right to obtain the FIR copy.

On Singh informing the court about not receiving the remand copy, he said:"They have not given us the remand order either."

Moreover, he cited Section 41D, CrPC (right of the arrested person to meet an advocate of their choice during interrogation) and said that it is an absolute right.

The judge then allowed Puryakastha's application to visit his lawyer and ordered that a copy of the remand order be provided to both Puryakastha and Chakravarty.

Singh also informed the court that a petition will be filed before the Delhi High Court challenging the FIR and the arrests, highlighting that there is already an FIR with the Economic Offenses Wing (EOW), and the High Court was not informed about the current FIR.

On Tuesday, in a statement regarding the search, seizure and detentions carried out in connection with a UAPA case registered with Special Cell, the Delhi Police had said that a total of 37 male suspects have been questioned at premises, including nine female suspects at their respective places of stay.

The police had said that digital devices, documents, etc., have been seized or collected for examination.

"The proceedings are still ongoing. So far, two accused, Purkayastha and Chakravarty have been arrested," the Delhi Police had said.

The Special Cell swung into action on Tuesday morning and carried out searches at several locations in Delhi-NCR, including the office of NewsClick and journalists associated with it.

The Delhi Police team also sealed the office of NewsClick in New Delhi.

The Special Cell had registered an FIR in the case on August 17 under different sections of the UAPA and the Indian Penal Code against NewsClick.

In August, a New York Times investigation had accused NewsClick of being an organisation funded by a network linked with US millionaire Neville Roy Singham, to allegedly promote Chinese propaganda.



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Title: NewsClick founder allowed to meet lawyer, Delhi court to decide over FIR on Thursday

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