Supreme Court issues notice to UP govt on plea against arrest of journalist Siddique Kappan
Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government and sought a response on a plea seeking the release of Kerala-based journalist Siddique Kappan, who was arrested on his way to Hathras to meet the family of the Dalit rape victim, whose death triggered protests across the country.
Supreme Court was hearing a plea filed by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists, which has challenged the arrest and sought Kappan’s release.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal while arguing for the KUWJ said, “The FIR does not disclose any offence against him. He has been in jail since October 5. When we went to the magistrate asking for permission to meet the journalist, they said to go to jail.”
Sibal informed the court that a plea for an interim bail for journalist Siddique Kappan had also been filed. However, since the KUWJ representatives were not allowed to meet Kappan in jail, they have not been able to get his signature.
The matter was heard by a three-judge Supreme Court bench led by CJI SA Bobde. It will now be heard on Friday.
However, the Supreme Court asked why the plea was not filed before the Allahabad High Court. "This is a journalist who has been in jail since October 5. This is an exceptional circumstance," argued Sibal.
A Mathura court on Friday dismissed the bail plea of three persons, booked on charges of sedition and terrorism after their arrest here along with Siddique Kappan on their way to a Hathras village to meet the family of the Dalit woman who had died after the horrific gangrape.
Additional District Judge Mayur Jain rejected the bail pleas of Atiqur Rahman, Aalam, and Masood saying the charges against the accused are serious and they cannot be enlarged on bail at this juncture when the investigation into the case is still going on.
Journalist Siddique Kappan and three others were arrested by Mathura police on October 5, while they were on their way to a village in Hathras to meet the family members of the Dalit girl, who had died in a Delhi hospital while undergoing treatment after a gangrape in her village.