After Delhi police, the Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a case against Delhi-based news portal NewsClick and others, including its Director, on allegations that it received ‘unexplained’ Rs 28.46 crore through four foreign entities in violation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). The CBI said it also carried out searches on Wednesday at two places, at the office of NewsClick and at the house of its editor-in-chief Prabir Purkayastha, who is behind bars in the Delhi police case for allegedly receiving funds from China to publish their propaganda.

“It was further alleged that there was an unexplained receipt of foreign fund of ₹9.59 crore (approx.) by incorrect characterization of the fund as FDI (Foreign Direct Investment). The Director of said private company with his close associates had allegedly violated the provisions of FCRA, 2010,” a CBI spokesperson charged.

The CBI said it was also alleged that the provisions of FCRA, 2010, prohibiting the acceptance of foreign contributions by companies engaged in the production and broadcast of audio-visual news or current affairs programmes through any electronic mode and by any correspondent or columnist, writer or owner of such company, were violated.

The NewsClick through a post on ‘X’, erstwhile twitter, confirmed the searches and stated “This is the fifth agency that is investigating us. We are cooperating with the authorities”.

The Delhi Police, besides Purkayastha, also arrested NewsClick’s Human Resources head, Amit Chakravorty, after charging them under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The multi-agency probe involved the Enforcement Directorate (ED) as well, which has been looking since 2021 into the money laundering aspect of funding into the news portal.

Post Delhi police action, NewsClick had stated that all funding they received was “through the appropriate banking channels and been reported to the relevant authorities as required by law, as substantiated by the Reserve Bank of India in proceedings before the high court of Delhi”.