Plea for Journo Kappan to See Ailing Mother Yet to Be Listed in SC

Kappan’s family from Kerala’s Malappuram has said his mother is on her deathbed.

3 min read
The Supreme Court heard the habeas corpus petition in Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan’s case on Friday. 

Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUJW) has moved an urgent plea seeking interim bail for journalist Siddique Kappan so that he can visit his seriously ailing mother. However, it is yet to be listed for hearing in the Supreme Court.

The KUWJ had approached the Supreme Court for interim bail for the journalist on Friday, 29 January. Kappan’s family, from Kerala’s Malappuram, has said his mother is on her deathbed.

The application was accompanied by a request to the Registrar General for early listing of the plea stating that the "days of the mother of the accused aged 90 in this world are limited as per medical opinion and it is her last wish to see her son, which she expressed repeatedly to her daughter in law Raihanath by broken words and signs in tears,” reported Bar and Bench.

Allowed to Make a Video Call

Earlier, when a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India, SA Bobde expressed inclination to allow the application of the ailing mother, Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta had urged the court to leave it to the state of Uttar Pradesh, assuring that the needful will be done.

Kappan was allowed to make a video call to his family from prison, but she was reportedly unconscious at the time.

"I want to see Baava, where is he," Kadeeja Kutty, his mother has been asking for him every time she gains consciousness, her family said.

“She is like a child now. She wouldn’t recognise him over a call. We never told her of the arrest either, that would shatter her. She has to see him in person to be able to identify him. Umma (Mother) has been asking after him whenever she gains consciousness,” her daughter Raihanath told The News Minute.

The first phone call Siddique Kappan made to his home was one-and-a-half months after his arrest. Until then, the family didn’t have any idea where he was.

Booked for Sedition

Kappan is a Delhi-based journalist, who reported for a Malayalam news portal Azhimukham and was the secretary of the KUWJ’s Delhi unit.

He, along with three others, were arrested in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura in October 2020 when they were on their way to Hathras to report about the alleged gang rape and murder of the 19-year-old Dalit girl. They were booked under provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and charges of sedition.

‘False and Frivolous Allegations’

The KUWJ had earlier told the Supreme Court that Kappan was beaten up and “mentally tortured”.

“Mr Kappan was beaten with a lathi three times on his thigh, slapped three times after taking out the spectacles, dragged, forced to stay awake from 6 pm to 6 am, depriving him of sleep, without proper medicines, along with serious mental torture from 5 to 6 October 2020,” read the KWJU rejoinder affidavit.

The affidavit had asserted that the allegations levelled against Kappan were “false and frivolous.”

The Mathura Police had denied the allegations and claimed they had acted on a tip and intercepted a car with the four persons who were taken into custody for interrogation.

(With inputs from Bar and Bench and The News Minute.)

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