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Delhi High Court Protects NewsClick Owner From Coercive Action

In connection with a case of alleged money laundering, the ED had raided the premises of NewsClick and residences of its editors in February.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) was directed on Monday night by the Delhi High Court to not take any coercive action against PPK Newsclick Studio Private Limited, which owns the news portal NewsClick, and company director Prabir Purkayastha until July 5.

Justice Jasmeet Singh, while issuing a notice to ED in a petition seeking a copy of the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) registered by ED against NewsClick, asked Delhi Police to respond to another petition filed by the news portal’s owners for quashing of the case registered by the Economic Offence Wing against it last year.

The ED has been granted two weeks by the court  to file a reply in the case seeking the copy of ECIR.

In connection with a case of alleged money laundering, the ED had raided the premises of NewsClick and residences of its editors in February and conducted search and seizure operations. The case by the ED related to alleged foreign funding is based on an FIR registered by Delhi Police’s Economic Offence Wing (EOW) last year.

Hearing in the petition by NewsClick by the vacation bench of Justice Singh began, through advocate Arshdeep Singh Khurana, at around 10.15 pm. After hearing the counsels representing the media organisation, the ED and the Delhi Police, the court passed the order at 11.20 pm.

NewsClick and its editor-in-chief Purkayastha in the petition related to the ED case sought a copy of the ECIR and protection from any coercive action in the meantime.

The company received the copy of EOW’s FIR only on June 5 after approaching the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate and is yet to receive the copy of ECIR from ED, Senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, representing the company, submitted before the court. “Unless I know what the allegations against me are, how do I take the legal remedies,” Krishnan argued, seeking a stay on coercive steps in the meantime.

 

 

 

 

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