New Delhi, Feb 7 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Wednesday reserved its order on the bail plea of NewsClick’s Human Resources head Amit Chakravarty, in a case lodged under the provisions of the UAPA over allegations that the media outlet received money to spread pro-China propaganda.
On January 9, Delhi’s Patiala House Court had granted permission to Chakravarty to become an approver in the case after he filed an application before Special Judge Hardeep Kaur, seeking pardon in the ongoing case.
Before Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma, Chakravarty’s lawyer said that his client has been granted pardon by the trial court and has been fully cooperating with the investigation.
“Despite being in custody since October 3, 2023, the case is still under investigation, and no charge sheet has been filed yet,” Chakravarty’s counsel informed the court.
The trial court had, on January 29, extended till February 17 judicial custody of NewsClick founder-editor Prabir Purkayastha and Chakravarty in the case.
Earlier, the special judge had allowed Chakravarty, who claimed to possess material information that he was willing to disclose to the Delhi Police, to turn an approver in the case.
The court, on December 22 last year, had granted 60 more days to Delhi Police to complete the investigation after it had moved an application before the court seeking an extension of three months.
The police application sought an extension for the maximum period allowed under the law, which is 180 days from the day of the accused’s arrest in cases filed under special acts, including the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
The application stressed on the voluminous nature of documents and evidence in the case, stating that the agency needs to visit various locations outside Delhi, contributing to the expected delay.
The Special Cell had registered an FIR in connection with the case on August 17, 2023 under different sections of the UAPA and the Indian Penal Code against NewsClick.
In August, a New York Times investigation accused NewsClick of being an organisation funded by a network linked with US millionaire Neville Roy Singham, to allegedly promote Chinese propaganda.