SC Grants 5-Day Bail to Siddique Kappan to Visit Ailing Mother
The journalist has been under arrest since 5 October 2020, and was held while he was travelling to UP’s Hathras.
The Supreme Court on Monday, 15 February, granted a five-day interim bail to journalist Siddique Kappan to visit his ailing mother in Kerala, reported ANI.
Kappan has been under arrest since 5 October 2020, and was held while he was travelling to Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras to cover the alleged gang rape of a Dalit woman on the basis of a “tip about suspicious people.” A section of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) was applied in the FIR against Kappan.
Since then, the journalist from Kerala has been jailed in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh.
On Friday, 22 January, the SC had allowed the arrested journalist to speak to his 90-year-old ailing mother, through a video call.
However, the application in the apex court now stated that the attempt to arrange a video conference with Kappan's mother had not materialised as she was "weak and extremely sick at the scheduled time,” Bar & Bench reported.
WHAT HAPPENED AT THE HEARING?
Appearing on behalf of Kappan on Monday, senior advocate Kapil Sibal stated that his mother was not able to talk then and added that doctors have said she will not live long.
According to the report, Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said that the UP police will take him to his mother’s house in Kerala, guard the house, and give him privacy when he meets his ailing mother.
The apex court in its order has restrained Kappan from giving any interview to media, including social media, and ordered that he shall not meet the public except relatives, doctors, and close family members, according to PTI.
“Whoever be the man, he is not likely to lie of his mother's imminent death. If this false then we will never entertain such petitions ever in the future,” CJI Bobde said, Bar and Bench quoted.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued on the grounds that “Kappan may be paraded in public and gather support for his activities which are otherwise against the law,” Bar and Bench reported.
However, the court ordered that Kappan is to not meet anyone except his relatives, doctors and anyone else connected with his mother's health, and that the UP and Kerala Police are to coordinate and make sure the directions are followed.
The SC bench consisting of Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian passed the order on Monday despite strong objection by the Uttar Pradesh government, represented by Mehta, who brought up the journalists’ alleged links to the Popular Front of India (PFI) to oppose the plea.
(With inputs from PTI, Bar & Bench and ANI.)
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