Go to HC First: SC to Kerala Scribe Nabbed Under UAPA Over Hathras
Kerala Union of Working Journalists said that Siddique Kappan was going for reporting when detained.
The Supreme Court has told Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan, charged under UAPA, who was arrested en route to Hathras, to first approach Allahabad High Court for bail, reported NDTV.
A CJI SA Bobde-led three member bench reportedly told Kappan to come back to the top court if the HC did not grant him relief, saying that they have kept the case pending and adjourned for four weeks.
The top court has asked him to use this four-week period to apply for bail at the Allahabad High Court.
Appearing for Kerala Union of Journalists, senior lawyer Kapil Sibal reportedly said to the apex court: "UAPA has been invoked. Bail will never be granted. He will be in jail for several months.”
CJI SA Bobde, in response, said that ‘it won’t take so long.’
“Go to the correct court. If it does not happen there, then come here. We are simply adjourning for four weeks.”CJI SA Bobde
Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) said that Kappan, secretary of the union, was going for reporting, when he was arrested.
According to NDTV, the petition filed on Monday challenged Kappan’s detention as “illegal” and asked the UP government to produce him in court. The petition further said that the detention had been carried out in a deliberate bid to keep Kappan from doing his job as a journalist.
The petition also deemed the arrest as violative of Supreme Court guidelines and pointed out that the UP government had not informed either Kappan’s parents or his colleagues about his arrest.
The police had said that they had been tipped off about some “suspicious people” en route to Hathras from Delhi, following which, they had arrested Kappan, Atiq-ur Rehman, Masood Ahmed and Alam.
The Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) had filed a Habeas Corpus petition in the Supreme Court, seeking the release of the New Delhi-based journalist from Kerala. The petition asked the apex court to pass directions to produce the journalist before the court and release him from illegal detention, The News Minute reported.
“The ultimate test of democracy lies in the freedom of speech and expression. The media is the breath of democracy. Denial of access to journalists to the place of news seriously connected with the dignified life of citizens for reporting is a gross violation of Article 14 and Article 21 of the Constitution of India of the media persons (sic).”The petition read
Earlier, the New Delhi unit of the union had also written to UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, urging his release, stating that Kappan was only doing his job as a reporter and was travelling to Hathras to cover the rape case, The News Minute reported.
(With inputs from NDTV and The News Minute)
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