New Delhi: The CBI registered an FIR against NewsClick for alleged violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act and carried out searches at the office and residence of the portal founder on Wednesday, officials said.
They said a team of the agency officials searched the residence and office of NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha, who was recently arrested by the Delhi Police in a case under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
The portal said it is cooperating with the authorities.
“The CBI is currently conducting search and seizure operations at the NewsClick office and the residence of our Editor-in-Chief Prabir Purkayastha. This is the fifth agency that is investigating us. We are cooperating with the authorities,” it said on X.
The portal is accused of received foreign funds in violations of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).
In its probe against the portal, the Delhi Police had alleged that funds were fraudulently infused by an active member of the propaganda department of the Communist Party of China, Neville Roy Singham. NewsClick has denied all the allegations.
The Delhi Police Special Cell had arrested Purkayastha and human resources department head of the portal Amit Chakravarty on October 3. Police had also sealed the NewsClick’s office in Delhi.
According to the FIR, a large amount of funds to the news portal came from China to “disrupt the sovereignty of India” and cause disaffection against the country.
It also alleged Purkayastha conspired with a group — People’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism (PADS) — to sabotage the electoral process during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.