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Prabir Purkayastha’s arrest & UAPA UPSC NOTE

 Why in News

  • The Supreme Court said it felt “no hesitation” to declare the arrest and remand of 74-year-old journalist and online portal NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) by the Delhi Police as “invalid in the eyes of law”, requiring his release from custody.

  • Mr. Purkayastha, who was accused of using Chinese funding to promote “anti-national propaganda” through digital media, was arrested by the Delhi Police Special Cell on October 3, 2023. 

  • Mr. Purkayastha’s request to provide him a copy of the FIR was ignored by the police.

  • He was remanded in police custody the next day. 

  • His lawyer was informed of the grounds of arrest on October 5.


SC Observations

  • The right to be informed about the grounds of arrest flows from Article 22(1) (an arrested person shall be informed of the grounds of arrest and allowed to consult a lawyer of his or her choice) of the Constitution and any infringement of this fundamental right would vitiate the process of arrest and remand

  • The mere fact that a charge sheet was filed in the case would not validate the illegality committed at the time of arrest, the court said

  • Like arrests, the grounds of detention should also be communicated in writing to a detainee

  • Any lapse would be a violation of Article 22(5) of the Constitution, which mandates that a person under detention should be communicated the grounds of the detention order and allowed to make a representation against the detention at the earliest opportunity

  • Communication of grounds of arrest or detention in writing by the investigating agency or police was “sacrosanct and cannot be breached under any situation”

  • Non-compliance of this constitutional requirement and statutory mandate would lead to the custody or the detention being rendered illegal,” the Supreme Court declared. 

  • Providing arrested persons or their lawyers the written grounds of arrest was made mandatory under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) by the top court in its Pankaj Bansal case judgment in 2023

  • The court has extended the same rule to UAPA cases through the current verdict in Mr. Purkayastha’s case.


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Prabir Purkayastha’s arrest & UAPA UPSC NOTE
Prabir Purkayastha’s arrest & UAPA UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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