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NewsClick case: Supreme Court asks for medical report of founder Prabir Purkayastha

The Supreme Court ordered the Delhi Police to submit the medical report of NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha who is currently lodged in Tihar jail in a case registered against him under anti-terror law UAPA.

A bench comprising Justice B R Gavai and Justice Sandeep Mehta asked Additional Solicitor General S V Raju to submit the report of the jail’s medical officer within a week. The directions followed after senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Prabir Purkayastha, submitted that his client’s medical condition is not good and the court should send for a report from the jail authorities.

Senior Advocate Kabil Sibal said that time keeps clicking but I don’t get the news. The Senior Advocate added that the only thing they want right now is that this court should call for a medical report from the jail superintendent. He mentioned that the founder is 74-year-old and is in great difficulty. 

Countering Kapil Sibal’s prayer for a report from the jail’s medical officer, ASG S V Raju said he would get an appropriate report from AIIMS.

The court expressed disappointment at ASG S V Raju’s objection and stated that it is surprising to hear such a statement. It added that if the authorities don’t have trust in their own officer, they must remove him or take action against him. Subsequently, the apex court directed the ASG to submit a report within a week and adjourned the hearing till February 27.

Meanwhile, NewsClick’s human resources department head Amit Chakraborty had earlier withdrawn his petition against his arrest under the anti-terror law, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) from the Supreme Court.

Prabir Purkayastha and Amit Chakraborty  were arrested by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police on October 3. As per the FIR, huge funds to the news portal allegedly came from China to disrupt the sovereignty of India and cause disaffection against the country. The FIR further alleged that Purkayastha conspired with a group named People’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism (PADS) to sabotage the electoral process during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. 

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