“Who Will Be Held Responsible?” P Chidambaram On NewsClick Founder Prabir Purkayastha’s Arrest

The Supreme Court has declared Prabir Purkayastha’s arrest invalid.

New Delhi:

Former Union finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram welcomed the Supreme Court’s judgment pronouncing the arrest of the NewsClick founder invalid, saying that justice has triumphed.

“NewsClick founder was arrested on October 3, 2023. The Supreme Court ruled today that his arrest was illegal. Justice will ultimately triumph and it has today,” Mr Chidambaram said in a post on X on Wednesday.

“Who will be held responsible for the illegal arrest? Who will pay the penalty for depriving the journalist of his freedom for over 7 months?” the Congress leader asked in the post.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court declared the arrest and subsequent remand of NewsClick founder and Editor-in-Chief Prabir Purkayastha invalid.

Mr Purkayastha was arrested by Delhi Police in connection with a case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) on October 3, 2023. The Supreme Court ordered that Mr Purkayastha be released, subject to him furnishing surety and bail bond.

The bench, in its verdict, took into account that a copy of the remand application and grounds of arrest were not provided to Mr Purkayastha, which violated principles of natural justice.

Pronouncing the verdict, the top court said, “A copy of the remand application was not provided to the appellant. This vitiates the arrest of the appellant…Though we would have released him without surety, since the chargesheet has been filed, we release him with surety and a bail bond.”

Mr Purkayastha has been in custody since October 3 last year under the UAPA in a case over receiving Chinese funds to propagate anti-national propaganda.

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

The probe agency also alleged that Mr Purkayastha conspired with a group, – People’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism (PADS) – to sabotage the electoral process during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Hindkesharistaff and is published from a syndicated feed.)