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Indian Supreme Court Grants Bail to NewsClick Editor in Chinese Funding Case

NewsClick Editor

India’s Supreme Court has declared the arrest of NewsClick founder and editor, Prabir Purkayastha, under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) as illegal, ordering his release on bail.

Purkayastha was detained in October last year on charges of receiving foreign funds and criminal conspiracy, following allegations from a New York Times report suggesting financial support from a network linked to Chinese propaganda.

The court ruled that his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate lacked proper communication of detention grounds in writing, rendering it invalid in the eyes of the law.

This landmark decision comes amid ongoing tensions between India and China, exacerbated by a border dispute and deadly clashes between their troops in 2020.

The New York Times report also implicated NewsClick’s financing by a US-based millionaire, Neville Roy Singham, sparking controversy regarding the outlet’s editorial independence.

NewsClick, known for its critical stance on India’s progressive movements, denied accusations of publishing content influenced by Chinese entities and asserted autonomy in editorial decisions.

However, the media organization faced scrutiny from Indian authorities, with raids conducted on its office and residences of associated individuals over alleged money laundering and foreign funding.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government defended the raids, citing the need to investigate foreign funding in media groups.

However, media watchdogs and rights groups condemned the actions as part of a broader assault on press freedoms since Modi’s tenure began in 2014.

The raids on NewsClick and other media outlets critical of the government raised concerns about harassment and censorship.

In a country where press freedom rankings have declined, the Supreme Court’s decision to grant bail to Purkayastha signals a potential shift towards safeguarding journalistic independence and upholding legal standards in cases involving media organizations.

Written By

I am a dynamic professional, specializing in Peace and Conflict Studies, Conflict Management and Resolution, and International Relations. My expertise is particularly focused on South Asian Conflicts and the intricacies of the Indian Ocean and Asia Pacific Politics. With my skills as a Content Writer, I serve as a bridge between academia and the public, translating complex global issues into accessible narratives. My passion for fostering understanding and cooperation on the national and international stage drives me to make meaningful contributions to peace and global discourse.

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