The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court granted bail to journalist Siddique Kappan on Friday, 23 December, in a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Kappan, who had been granted bail in September in an Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) case by the Supreme Court will walk out of jail soon.
"We will file his bail bond in the PMLA case after the court gets back from vacation," his lawyer told The Quint.
Opposition parties and journalist bodies had lauded the Supreme Court verdict and had said that Kappan was a 'soft target' for the Uttar Pradesh government.
A reporter for Malayalam news portal Azhimukham, and secretary of the Delhi unit of Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ), he was arrested along with three others -- Athikur Rehman, Alam and Masood -- in Uttar Pradesh in October 2020, while he was on his way to Hathras to cover the gruesome gangrape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit girl.
The Dalit woman had died at a Delhi hospital a fortnight after she was allegedly gang-raped on September 14 2020. She was cremated by government authorities in the middle of the night in her village, without informing her family.
The police had claimed that Kappan had links with the Popular Front of India (PFI) and was part of a conspiracy to instigate violence.
He was first booked under UAPA and then PMLA. The ED had filed the case against him and four others in September 2021.