Supreme Court Grants Bail To Journalists In UAPA Cases – Three prominent journalists’ unions, the National Alliance of Journalists (NAJ), the Delhi Union of Journalists (DUJ), and the Andhra Pradesh Working Journalists Federation (APWJF), have welcomed the bail granted to journalists Prabir Purkayastha, Gautam Navlakha, and Aasif Sultan. The unions jointly issued a statement hailing the bail orders and warning against the malicious prosecution and potential re-arrest of these journalists.

Prabir Purkayastha’s Release

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Prabir Purkayastha, 73, founder editor of the Delhi-based news portal NewsClick, was arrested in October 2023 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) on allegations of receiving Chinese funds to destabilize the country.

His arrest followed multiple raids by authorities, including the Income Tax Department, the Enforcement Directorate, and the Special Cell of the Delhi Police. During these raids, the homes of 46 individuals were searched, and 480 electronic devices were seized. The Supreme Court ruled his arrest unlawful as the grounds for arrest were not provided to him in writing, violating his fundamental rights.

Gautam Navlakha’s Bail

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Gautam Navlakha, 66, a veteran journalist and human rights activist, was arrested in 2018 in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case. Initially jailed and later placed under house arrest due to deteriorating health, Navlakha faced demands from the NIA to pay Rs 1.6 crore for security during his house arrest. The Supreme Court granted him bail, citing the lengthy trial process, which involves hearing from 375 witnesses.

Aasif Sultan’s Conditional Bail

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Aasif Sultan, 36, was arrested in 2018 under a UAPA case for alleged militant links. Despite being granted bail in 2022 by the Jammu & Kashmir High Court, he faced immediate re-arrest under the Public Safety Act. After six years of incarceration, Sultan has been granted bail again under stringent conditions regarding his use of electronic communication devices.

Union’s Stance on Malicious Prosecution

The NAJ, DUJ, and APWJF have strongly condemned the politically motivated cases against journalists and other citizens. They demand the quashing of all such FIRs and an end to the malicious prosecution of media personnel. The unions emphasize the importance of protecting journalists’ rights and ensuring a fair legal process.

Supreme Court Grants Bail To Journalists In UAPA Cases

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