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Allahabad High Court Seeks UP Govt's Counter Affidavit On Siddique Kappan Bail Plea By March 14

Sparsh Upadhyay
1 March 2022 7:24 AM GMT
Allahabad High Court Seeks UP Govts Counter Affidavit On Siddique Kappan Bail Plea By March 14
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The Allahabad High Court has sought the response of the Uttar Pradesh Government on the bail plea filed by Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan in connection with the Sedition, UAPA case registered against him in the alleged Hathras conspiracy case and which is pending before the NIA Court in Lucknow.The Bench of Justice Rajesh Singh Chauhan has listed the case for next hearing on March 14 and...

The Allahabad High Court has sought the response of the Uttar Pradesh Government on the bail plea filed by Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan in connection with the Sedition, UAPA case registered against him in the alleged Hathras conspiracy case and which is pending before the NIA Court in Lucknow.

The Bench of Justice Rajesh Singh Chauhan has listed the case for next hearing on March 14 and it categorically made it clear that if the counter affidavit is not filed by the UP Govt, then the bail application would be heard and disposed of finally on the basis of material available on record and the arguments so advanced by counsel for the parties.

The Court also rejected the argument advanced by A.G.A. raising preliminary objection regarding the maintainability of the bail application at Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court.

Essentially, it was AGA's submission that the F.I.R. was lodged in District Mathura and the investigation was also carried out there, therefore, this bail application should have been filed before the High Court sitting at Allahabad.

In response to this, the Court, after taking into account the submission of Counsel for Kappan, Ishan Baghel, said that as the trial of the case against Kappan is going on at Lucknow, therefore, the instant bail application was liable to be entertained at Lucknow.

The case against Kappan before the NIA Court at Lucknow

It may be noted that in December 2021, a local court in Mathura had transferred the Sedition, UAPA case registered against Kappan and seven others in the alleged Hathras conspiracy case to a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Lucknow.

Kappan and others are facing charges under Sections 17 and 18 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), Sedition (S. 124-A IPC), Promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion (S. 153-A IPC), deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings (S. 295-A IPC) and Section 65, 72 and 75 of the IT Act.

Earlier, Uttar Pradesh didn't have a designated court for the cases under UAPA, but the UP government on April 20, 2021, designated a Lucknow Court as a special NIA Court.

It may be noted that as per Subsection (4) and Section 22 of the NIA Act, on and from the date when the Special Court is constituted by the State Government the trial of any offence investigated by the State Government under the provisions of this Act, which would have been required to be held before the Special Court, shall stand transferred to that Court on the date on which it is constituted.

The background of the case against Kappan

The accused [Atiqur Rahman, Masood Ahmed and Alam, and Siddique Kappan] were arrested by the Maan police under the above-mentioned charges while they were going to Hathras in 2020.

Initially, they were arrested under the apprehension of causing a breach of peace and were produced before a court of the sub-divisional magistrate which sent them to judicial custody.

Subsequently, they were booked under the UAPA alleging that he and his co-passengers were trying to incite communal riots and disrupt social harmony in the wake of the Hathras gangrape-murder case.

They have been under judicial custody and in April 2021, eight people linked to Popular Front of India, including its students' wing leader K A Rauf Sherif and Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan, were charge-sheeted by Uttar Pradesh police's Special Task Force in a court here for sedition, criminal conspiracy, funding of terror activities and other offences.

Case title - Sidhique Kappan v. State Of U.P.Thru.Prin.Secy.Home Lko.

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