NewsClick FCRA violation case: CBI files FIR against news website, residence of editor

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday filed an FIR against news portal Newsclick, alleging that the news website violated foreign funding rules under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act. The investigating agency on Wednesday morning raided two locations linked to the website’s founder and editor Prabir Purkayastha.

A team of officials from the agency searched the residence and office of the Newsclick founder, who was recently arrested by the Delhi Police in a case under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has alleged that NewsClick had received illegal funds from China through the US. The ED had searched the premises of Newsclick in February 2021 as part of its investigation into foreign remittances allegedly received between 2018 and 2021.

Meanwhile, the news website has denied the allegations, stating that “it does not directly or indirectly publish any news or information on the orders of any Chinese entity or authority… and does not publish any news or information on the orders of any Chinese entity or authority… Doesn’t promote”.

Last week, the Delhi Police Special Cell conducted searches at over 50 locations linked to the news portal, its employees and contributors. Apart from Purkayastha, its human resources department head Amit Chakraborty was also detained.

An earlier investigation by The New York Times had alleged that the Indian news portal was one of the media organizations being funded by a network linked to American millionaire Neville Roy Singham to promote Chinese propaganda.