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"Mother Died, Rights As A Journalist Violated": Journalist Siddique Kappan Tells Mathura Court In His Bail Plea, Matter Adjourned To July 5

Sparsh Upadhyay
22 Jun 2021 9:37 AM GMT
Mother Died, Rights As A Journalist Violated: Journalist Siddique Kappan Tells Mathura Court In His Bail Plea, Matter Adjourned To July 5
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Kerala-based journalist Siddique Kappan's Bail plea, which was taken up today by the Mathura local court was adjourned to July 5. His Counsel argued before the Court that his mother had died on June 18 and he be released on Bail as he is innocent.His Counsel also argued that he is a Journalist by profession and has not done anything beyond the ambit and scope of guidelines issued by the...

Kerala-based journalist Siddique Kappan's Bail plea, which was taken up today by the Mathura local court was adjourned to July 5. His Counsel argued before the Court that his mother had died on June 18 and he be released on Bail as he is innocent.

His Counsel also argued that he is a Journalist by profession and has not done anything beyond the ambit and scope of guidelines issued by the Press Council of India on professional standards to be maintained.

Kappan has been behind bars since he was held in a case registered against him under charges related to apprehension of breach of peace while they were on their way to Hathras to meet the family of a Dalit woman allegedly raped and murdered last year.

Subsequently, he was 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.

His counsel submitted before the Mathura ADJ Narender Kumar Pandey that he had been in jail for the last 8 months and 22 days, and his Mother expired on 18.06.2021 and the charge sheet was filed and the ingredients of the offence were not made out.

It was further argued that he is innocent and that his right to access the place of news and his duty to verify the correctness of the same was violated.

With this, he prayed to be released on bail. However, his Bail Petition has been adjourned to July 5, 2021 for the serving of copy, reply and arguments.

Kerala based Journalist Siddique Kappan has moved a regular bail application before the Mathura District Court stressing that in the charge sheet, there is nothing to connect the applicant with the alleged offences other than bald allegations, without supporting documents.

Referring to Supreme Court's order granting liberty to him to seek remedy available in law including granting liberty to file an application for bail along with other reliefs, the Bail Application avers that keeping him in jail on the strength of UAPA is nothing but a misuse of its provisions, more particularly when there is no iota of evidence or recovery against the accused even in the charge sheet

Last week, a Mathura Court dropped the proceedings against him and three other persons in connection with a case registered against them under charges related to apprehension of breach of peace while they were on their way to Hathras to meet the family of a Dalit woman allegedly raped and murdered last year.

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Recently, Kappan's wife wrote to the CJI saying that that he (who has recently tested Positive for COVID-19) is chained like an animal in a cot of the Medical College Hospital, Mathura, without mobility, and that he is not able to take food, go to the toilet for the last more than 4 days, and is very critical.

The letter also stated that the Writ of Habeas Corpus (seeking Kappan's release) petition filed on 06th October 2020 which was supposed to be disposed of on 09th March 2021 had not been disposed of despite it being listed it more than 7 times.

Thus, it sought immediate steps/ necessary orders are passed to release Kappan from the Medical College Hospital back to the Mathura Jail as an interim relief, till the disposal of the mentioning application filed on 22nd April 2021.

It may be noted that Citing medical emergency, Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) has moved the Supreme Court seeking the transfer of Kerala Journalist Siddique Kappan to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) or Safdarjung Hospital, Delhi.

In its plea, the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) has submitted that on 20th April 2021, Kappan collapsed in the bathroom with serious injuries and later on he tested positive for COVID-19 and is presently hospitalized in a Mathura hospital.

The UP Government alleged that Kappan was linked to the Popular Front of India and was trying to incite communal riots under the garb of a journalist.

The KUWJ has denied that Kappan has any connection with the Popular Front of India (PFI). In this regard, the KUWJ states that the UP Government has taken inconsistent stances in two affidavits.

Significantly, the Supreme Court had, on April 28 directed that Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan be shifted from Mathura Jail in Uttar Pradesh to a government hospital in Delhi for medical treatment.

Pursuant to this order, he was shifted from Mathura Jail to AIIMS, New Delhi in an ambulance and was under treatment since April 30, however, the Notice alleges that none of the family members or the lawyer of Kappan was informed about the progress of his medical condition/treatment till May 7, 2021.

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