A court here on Friday reserved order on Delhi Police's application seeking more time to complete the investigation in a case lodged under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act regarding allegations that the NewsClick portal received money to spread pro-China propaganda.
The Delhi Police on Tuesday moved an application before the court.
The application was moved before Special Judge Hardeep Kaur of the Patiala House Courts
The previously extended judicial custody of the two accused -- NewsClick founder-editor Prabir Purkayastha and Human Resources head Amit Chakravarty -- also expires Friday.
The police's application seeks an extension for the maximum period allowed under the law, which is 180 days from the day of the accused's arrest in cases filed under special acts, including the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Without the court's permission, the investigating agency would have three months from the arrest to conclude the investigation, after which the accused may have a statutory right to bail.
The application stresses on the voluminous nature of documents and evidence in the case, stating that the agency needs to visit various locations outside Delhi, contributing to the expected delay.
It also mentions the necessity for judicial orders to question certain individuals or potential witnesses related to the matter.
Recently, the court had dismissed an application moved by Purkayastha seeking release of his electronic devices seized for probe in the matter.
The judge had dismissed the plea saying the ground was not enough to allow the application at this stage.
On December 1, the court had extended till December 22 the judicial custody of Purkayastha and Chakravarty.
Both Purkayastha and Chakravarty had moved the court seeking the release of their electronic devices seized by the police and bail, respectively.
On November 17, Chakravarty's counsel had argued that he has only 0.09 per cent share in the organisation, and has no role in journalism or management, and the police had raised questions on the maintainability of the bail application.
On October 25, the special judge had sent the duo to custody after the police told the court that they have the right to seek further custody of Purkayastha and Chakravarty, and that they need to confront them with protected witnesses and the recovered electronic material.
They were produced before the court on expiry of their five-day judicial custody.
Additional Public Prosecutor (APP) for police Atul Srivastava had told the court that they have the right to seek further custody and therefore, they were exercising the same.
The Special Cell of the Delhi Police had arrested Purkayastha and Chakravarty on October 3. A day after their arrest, the special judge had sent them to seven days' police custody on October 4. Both then moved the High Court challenging their police remand, which was upheld by the High Court.
The duo had also taken the matter to the Supreme Court against the dismissal of their petitions challenging police remand, and on October 19, the apex court had issued notices to the Delhi Police on the petitions.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Purkayastha, had earlier argued before the High Court that "all facts are false and not a penny came from China."
On October 3, in a statement regarding the search, seizure and detentions carried out in connection with the UAPA case registered by the Special Cell, the Delhi Police had said that a total of 37 male suspects were questioned at the office premises, while nine female suspects were questioned at their residences.
The police said that digital devices, documents, etc., were seized or collected for examination. The Special Cell had registered an FIR in connection with the case on August 17 under different sections of the UAPA and the Indian Penal Code against NewsClick.
In August, a 'New York Times' investigation had accused NewsClick of being an organisation funded by a network linked with US millionaire Neville Roy Singham, to allegedly promote Chinese propaganda.