The Supreme Court issued notice on the Special Leave Petitions filed by NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha and Human Resources head Amit Chakraborty, challenging their police custody in the case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act on the allegations of promoting fake narratives and jeopardizing national interests on behalf of foreign-funded entities.

The Bench of Justice B.R. Gavai and Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra said that the Court will issue notice, returnable in three weeks. However, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal appearing for the petitioners submitted that it would be too long and that the notice be made returnable earlier.

Accordingly, the Court directed that the matter be listed on October 30.

Earlier, the Petitioners had approached the Delhi High Court challenging the order for a 7-day Police remand, passed by the Special Judge at Patiala House Court, as null and void. However, vide Judgment dated October 13, 2023, the Delhi High Court refused to quash the order. High Court noted that the offences fell under the UAPA, and they directly affect the stability, integrity, and sovereignty of the country. It was also observed that the offences are of the utmost importance because they have implications for national security.

On the aspect of Unlawful remand of the Petitioners, the High Court held, "It appears as of now that the grounds of arrest were indeed conveyed to the petitioner, as soon as may be, after the arrest and as such, there does not appear to be any procedural infirmity or violation of the provisions of the Section 43B of the UAPA or the Article 22(1) of the Constitution of India and as such, the arrest are in accordance with law".

The High Court had also expressed its shock at the fact that the petitioner had the opportunity to meet his counsel on the evening of Oct 3, 2023, after he was arrested, however, the petition did not contain any assertion or claim that the petitioner or his counsel had raised objections to the arrest based on not being informed about the grounds for his arrest.

Recently, several retired High Court Judges among 255 eminent citizens wrote to CJI seeking action against 'news click' and raised a vehement alarm about the alarming rise of anti-India propaganda driven by fake news and foreign-funded entities.

Cause Title: Prabir Purkayastha v. State (Nct Of Delhi) [Diary No. 42896-2023] & Amit Chakraborty v. State (Nct Of Delhi) [Diary No. 43226-2023]