15 Dec 2020 5:47 AM GMT
The UP Government has told the Supreme Court that independent journalist Sidhique Kappan should not be granted relief as he has links with banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and was heading towards Hathras on the instructions of Delhi Riots accused, Md. Danish. The Affidavit filed by the UP Government in a habeas corpus petition moved by Kerala Union of Working...
The UP Government has told the Supreme Court that independent journalist Sidhique Kappan should not be granted relief as he has links with banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and was heading towards Hathras on the instructions of Delhi Riots accused, Md. Danish.
The Affidavit filed by the UP Government in a habeas corpus petition moved by Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) states,
"As per the detailed investigation till date, in the instant case, most of the members of PFI who are ex-office bearers of "banned organization SIMI" have been in close intimacy with the accused.
Several incriminating evidence have been found from the house of the accused Sidhique Kappan during search — conducted on 11.11.2020, after obtaining due remand orders from the Ld. CJM Court, Mathura. These documents disclosed crucial information/journey of the very formation of PFI as a reincarnation of SIMI after it being banned, also that the motive and ideology of both the organizations
PFI has also been involved in anti-national activities and keeping links with terror outfits like ISIS."
The Government has further claimed that Kappan and all other co-accused were heading towards Hathras in pre-planned manner to execute unlawful activities and to disrupt the public peace of the state by provoking the class and caste conflicts within the state.
"Investigation has revealed that the accused Sidhique Kappan and his co-accused were mobilized towards Hathras upon instructions of Md. Danish, who is himself chargesheeted accused in the Delhi Riots case," the affidavit states.
It is alleged that Kappan is not even a journalist and he presented a fake Identity Card claiming himself to be a reporter of a Malayam newspaper "Thejas". The Government claimed,
"Investigation has revealed that this newspaper closed operations in December 2018 and has not been in existence since then…Since the newspaper "Thejas" stopped publishing tn December 2018, it is wrong to suggest that he is a working journalist and was approaching Hathras in order to report the incident."
It is alleged that Kappan is not assisting in the Investigation and has refused to disclose his social media accounts, passwords and details in order to conceal his misdeeds.
It is stated that various evidences are yet to be collected/ recorded in the case and if the bail application is allowed at this stage, then there is a "strong likelihood" that Kappan will interfere with the course of investigation, will make himself scarce by going underground.
The submissions have come in response to a rejoinder affidavit filed by KUWJ, earlier this month. The organization had claimed that the UP Police has wrongly mentioned the time of Kappan's arrest. It was also alleged that Kappan was subjected to custodial torture, not allowed to speak to his family for 29 days of after arrest, and was prevented from signing a vakalatnama for authorising his counsel.
Siddique Kappan's Arrest : Kerala Union Of Working Journalists Seeks Independent Enquiry By Retired SC Judge
Responding to these allegations, the UP Government submitted:
The UP Government has pointed out that the three other individuals travelling in the same car as Kappan have been denied bail by the competent court. It is submitted that Kappan does not wish to face examination of his role by the competent court and, therefore, attempting to get virtually regular bail on broad propositions of violation of fundamental rights.
It has been reiterated that Kappan has no locus to approach the Top Court under Article 32 petition, since he is not in an illegal custody/confinement but is in judicial custody in "pursuance of the valid judicial order passed by the competent court".
Siddique Kappan Was Using 'Garb Of Journalism' To Disturb Law & Order In Hathras: UP Govt Tells SC
Kappan, a freelance journalist reporting for Malayalam portals, was arrested by the UP police on October 5 along with three others in an FIR registered for alleged criminal conspiracy to create societal unrest in the wake of Hathras incident. The stringent provisions of anti-terror legislation Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and sedition were invoked against Kappan and others. A local court in Mathura remanded them to custody.
Following his arrest, the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) filed a habeas corpus petition in the Supreme Court challenging Kappan's custody. The KUWJ argued that the arrest was illegal and unconstitutional.
On October 12, a bench lead by the Chief Justice of India expressed disinclination to entertain the petition and suggested to Sibal (who was appearing for KUWJ) that the petitioner should approach the High Court.
Click Here To Download Affidavit