SC Allows Kappan to Get Treated in Delhi, But No Interim Bail

The SC asked the SG to sort the matter of allocation of bed to Kappan that out “with the concerned government”.

3 min read
 Siddique Kappan, a journalist from Kerala, was arrested while he was on his way to Hathras in 2020. 

On Wednesday, April 28, the Supreme Court allowed Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan to be transferred to a government hospital in Delhi for receiving medical treatment.

The bench, led by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, further directed that after receiving adequate medical treatment and recovering from his illness, Kappan shall be transferred back to Mathura jail.

The apex court disposed of the habeas corpus plea filed by Kerala Journalists’ Union by observing that Kappan is at liberty of moving a regular bail application before a trial court after his recovery. 
Even if Solicitor General Tushar Mehta opposes, we direct the UP government to shift Kappan to RML, AIIMS, or any other government hospital in Delhi. After recovery, he should be sent back to the UP jail. 
Supreme Court

Kappan Can Be Treated In Mathura Itself: UP Govt

Opposing Kappan’s transfer to a hospital in Delhi, the Uttar Pradesh government informed the Supreme Court that Kappan can receive treatment at the Mathura jail’s hospital.

“A lot of old people are also approaching me saying that they are not getting beds. Due to resurgence of COVID, many people in UP are not getting beds. Many “bonafide” journalists are also struggling with life.” 
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the UP government

Mehta further argued that Kappan, a diabetes patient, was COVID negative but has some blood pressure issues. Therefore, he can be very well treated at a Mathura hospital. However, he continued, that the UP government is in favour of constituting a medical board to decide on the issue.

People who have diabetes, along with COVID, are also not getting beds. Even if the (medical) Board says a bed needs to be given to Kappan at the cost of a COVID positive patient then let it be so. Let the Board say that. 
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta

While mooting for a medical board in Mathura hospital to examine Kappan without any “fear or favour”, Mehta argued that bringing Kappan to Delhi just so that he can meet his family will be an injustice.

Kappan Requires Immediate Medical Attention: KJU

Appearing for the Kerala Journalists’ Union, advocate Wills Mathew informed the court that this plea was about Kappan’s life, which needed to be protected under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Mathew submitted that Kappan’s condition was critical and he needed immediate medical intervention. The first priority, Mathew argued, was to ensure the protection of Kappan’s health.

On 20 April, he fell in the bathroom, following which he tested COVID positive. He was taken to the medical college, which revealed his deteriorating condition. After that, he was tied by a chain. This is about his life.
Wills Mathew, appearing for KJU

Responding to the SC’s direction, Mehta informed the court that shifting Kappan to Delhi would lead to asking a COVID patient to vacate the bed.

“You sort that out with the concerned government,” the court replied.

5,000-Page UAPA Charge Sheet Filed Against Journalist Siddique Kappan

The Uttar Pradesh Police has filed a 5,000-page charge sheet against Kappan, who was arrested on his way to Hathras after the alleged gangrape incident in September, and charged him under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act or UAPA.

Seven others, three of whom were arrested with Kappan, who were also charged under the UAPA.

Kappan and three others were arrested on 5 October while on their way to Hathras after the alleged gangrape and murder of a Dalit woman for their alleged links with Popular Front of India (PFI). The police claimed that acting on a tip, they had intercepted their car at a toll plaza.

In the FIR, the UP Police charged them with sedition and Section 17 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, which pertains to punishment for raising funds for a terrorist act.

The police said that during interrogation, it had come to the fore that the four had links with the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its associate organisation Campus Front of India (CFI).

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