A Delhi Court on Tuesday remanded NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha and its human resources (HR) head Amit Chakraborty to judicial custody for ten days in the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) case registered against them by the Delhi Police. .Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Hardeep Kaur of Patiala House Court passed the order after the Delhi Police told the Court that police would not require the custody of the two accused and that they could be sent to judicial custody.The order was passed despite stiff opposition from the counsel for the two accused who claimed that the allegations in the FIR do not constitute an offence under the UAPA."There is no allegation that I used bombs, dynamite or any other explosive substance. There is no allegation that I used any criminal force or that I caused death of any public functionary. There is no act of detention kidnapping or abduction. So, none of the allegations in the FIR have the elements of Section a b and c. So, I ask myself how by having journalism as a profession, by reporting, I can commit any of these offences. So far as 16, 17 and 18 are concerned, there is a requirement of a 'terrorist act'. A bare reading of the FIR shows that the allegations are not made out against me" Purkayastha's counsel Arshdeep Khurana said.He underlined that journalist cannot be punished for criticising the government in power. Additional Public Prosecutor (APP) Atul Srivastava opposed the argument and "Your purpose was not criticising (the government) but propagating the propaganda of a country that is inimical to us," he stated..Purkayastha and Chakraborty were arrested following a series of raids that were conducted in the wake of allegations made in a New York Times article that NewsClick was being paid to boost Chinese propaganda.Both persons were remanded to seven days of police custody in the early hours of the morning of October 4. After they were not given a copy of the FIR, they approached a Delhi court in the matter, which on October 5 allowed their plea to get an FIR copy.As per the FIR, the accused illegally received crores of rupees in foreign funds and deployed the same with an intention to disrupt the sovereignty, unity and security of India.The FIR said that secret inputs suggest that substantial foreign funds were illegally funneled into India by both Indian and foreign entities. These funds, amounting to crores of rupees, were received by Newsclick through illegal means over a span of five years.The funds were fraudulently infused by Singham, allegedly an active member of the Communist Party of China's Propaganda department, through a complex network of entities, it was alleged..During the hearing today, Purkayastha's counsel Arshdeep Khurana said that the arrest was illegal since the grounds of arrest were not communicated to the accused.Further, Purkayastha's counsel opposed the judicial custody."It is in your ladyship's power to today say that judicial remand is not necessary. This is case of multiple investigations. All these issues have already been examined by the Delhi Police, ED and Income Tax department," Khurana submitted.He also pointed out that in respect of EOW and ED, Purkayastha was protected by the Delhi High Court in June/July 2021."It still continues and those petitions are still pending. This arrest has been carried out to circumvent the High Court's protection," Khurana contended.No offence is made out as per what is alleged in the first information report (FIR), he underscored. "What is alleged in this FIR, no offence is made, forget the UAPA. All these are journalistic works which are in public domain. All the allegations are ill founded," Khurana said. If your ladyship agrees with me, your ladyship has the power to say there is no case of judicial remand, he added.He went on to highlight the claims in the FIR and said that none of the allegations in the FIR constitute any offence under UAPA. .Pertinently, Khurana argued that reporting critically about the government or its policies cannot attract UAPA."Today, if I am critical of the policies of the government, can I be accused of committing any of these offences. Article 19 gives me the right. UAPA is not a restriction on Article 19. You can't be imposing these draconian laws on journalists. The allegation is that I reported on Covid and farmers protest and therefore created disaffection. Is that terrorism," Khurana asked..Regarding allegations of Purkayatha's association with Gautam Navlakha, Khurana submitted that he knows Navlakha since 1991 but that by itself will not be an offence under UAPA."They say I have an association with Gautam Navlakha who is facing UAPA. Mere association becomes a crime? I am not in the offence. I have no role. He was also a journalist and I have known him. I have known him since 1991. Now suddenly you say because of this association, I am also involved in terrorism," Khurana said.Khurana also admitted that NewsClick had reported on Farmers' protests but that by itself cannot attract any provisions of UAPA.He also categorically denied having received any funds from China."I reported on the farmers agitation. I have not made any contribution to the farmers' agitation. They are saying funds came from China. Not a penny has come from China," Khurana said.Sending these persons to judicial custody will be a travesty of justice. They are reputed journalists. Purkayastha is a scientist and renowned in the world, Khurana said in conclusion..Chakraborty's counsel also opposed judicial custody."My name is mentioned only in two places in the FIR. First is the initial part that i am a shareholder of NewsClick. I am only 0.1% shareholder. I am not on the board of directors. The only other place where my name is mentioned is where the FIR says illegal funds were siphoned of. Even here the allegation is against my brother and not me," it was submitted. Chakraborty further said that he is only head of HR and not involved in publication of any news on the website. "The allegations relate to what is published on the NewsClick website. I have not been involved in any news publication. i am not a journalist, editor or writer. So, there are no allegations against me that I published some news," counsel for Chakraborty submitted..Additional Public Prosecutor (APP) Atul Srivastava who appeared for the Delhi Police opposed the arguments. He said that the police had already satisfied the court during the time of police remand that the offences were made out."Today it is not a case of first remand. At the time of the first remand, we had satisfied my ladyship how the offences were made out," the APP said.He also pointed out that the plea for quashing of FIR is pending before the Delhi High Court."They have asked for quashing of the FIR. the HC said 'first we will think about issuing notice after this'," the APP highlighted.The APP said that they are not seeking police custody which reflected fairness on their part."We are the stage of collecting evidence. See our fairness. We have said we don't need police remand as of now and will ask later if we need it," he stated..Notably, the Delhi High Court had on Monday reserved its verdict on Purkayastha and Chakraborty's plea challenging their remand in the case.