May 29, 2024
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Supreme Court Declares NewsClick Editor’s Arrest Under Anti-Terror Law Illegal

The Supreme Court of India has ruled that the arrest of NewsClick editor Prabir Purkayastha by Delhi Police was illegal, citing a failure to provide the requisite remand copy. A bench led by Justices BR Gavai and Sandeep Mehta stated that the absence of arrest grounds vitiated the arrest, thus rendering it void. The judgment reinforces the court’s stance from its March decision in the Pankaj Bansal case, which mandates that the grounds for arrest be provided in writing to the accused.

During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General SV Raju defended the police’s action; however, the court maintained that while the arrest has been declared void, police could still exercise their lawful powers. The apex court also highlighted procedural lapses in handling Mr. Purkayastha’s case, noting the rapid production before a magistrate without informing his legal counsel and issuing a remand order prematurely.

Mr. Purkayastha was arrested on October 3 under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act following allegations of accepting foreign funds linked to Chinese interests aimed at stoking unrest in Delhi. His arrest came shortly after these allegations were detailed in a New York Times investigation. The trial court is set to impose bail conditions on Mr. Purkayastha, as his legal battle continues to unfold.

Pic Courtesy: google/ images are subject to copyright 

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