NewsClick founder gets bail as SC says arrest & remand illegal | India News

NEW DELHI: Supreme Court on Wednesday released on bail NewsClick founder and editor-in-chief Prabir Purkayastha, arrested on Oct 3 last year under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, after finding that Delhi Police blatantly violated his fundamental right to be informed in writing about the grounds of arrest and the trial judge illegally remanding him to custody.
Accepting every argument of senior advocate Kapil Sibal, the bench of Justices B R Gavai and Sandeep Mehta said, “Though we would have been persuaded to direct Purkayastha’s release without requiring him to furnish bonds or security but since the chargesheet has been filed, we feel it appropriate to direct his release from custody on furnishing bail and bonds to the satisfaction of the trial court.”
Later in the day, the Patiala House Court ordered Purkayastha’s release on bail bonds worth Rs 1 lakh, and on three conditions: he shall not contact witnesses and approvers in the case, he shall not talk about the merits of the case and he shall not travel abroad without the court’s permission.

NewsClick founder gets bail as SC says arrest & remand illegal.

Purkayastha was arrested by Delhi Police on Oct 3 along with NewsClick’s HR head Amit Chakraborty for allegedly receiving illegal funding from China, routed through the US with the intention of undermining India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Writing the 41-page judgment, Justice Mehta said Purkayastha’s arrest, followed by the remand order of Oct 4 last year and Delhi high court’s Oct 15 order validating the remand, were contrary to law and hence quashed. Non-intimation of grounds of arrest to Purkayastha and his counsel vitiated the arrest and remand order, he said. “There is no doubt in the mind of the court that any person arrested for allegation of commission of offences under the provisions of UAPA or for that matter any other offence(s) has a fundamental and statutory right to be informed about the grounds of arrest in writing and a copy of such written grounds of arrest has to be furnished to the arrested person as a matter of course and without exception at the earliest,” the bench said.

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