SC Issues Notice To UP Govt On Siddique Kappan's Bail Plea, Case To Be Heard On Sept 9

SC Issues Notice To UP Govt On Siddique Kappan's Bail Plea, Case To Be Heard On Sept 9

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice regarding a bail plea filed by Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan contesting the Allahabad High Court’s denial of his bail application in the Hathras Conspiracy case, news agency ANI reported.

The case has been scheduled for ultimate disposition on September 9 by a bench consisting of Chief Justice of India U.U. Lalit and Justice S. Ravindra Bhat.

Kappan, who has already been imprisoned for over two years, was apprehended by UP police in October 2020 while on their way to report the Hathras rape-murder case.

While he was first held on suspicion of creating a breach of peace, he was later charged under the UAPA with attempting to instigate communal riots and damage social harmony in the aftermath of the Hathras gangrape-murder case.

Representing Kappan, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibbal stated: “The heart of the allegation is that that PFI put 45,000 for terrorist activities. No evidence, no nothing, just allegations,” LiveLaw reported. 

“PFI is not a terrorist organization. PFI is not a banned organization. I am a journalist. I was going to Hathras to cover the case. What has happened is that I was working with a newspaper with PFI. I don’t work there any more,” he added. 

The petition was contested by Garima Prashad, Additional Advocate General of the State of UP, who informed the Court that there are eight accused in the case, some of them are also implicated in the Delhi riots case.

“Not me,” Sibal said in response for Kappan.

The CJI then directed Prashad to raise her objections in the issue by filing a counter-affidavit. Kappan petitioned the Allahabad High Court after a lower court in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, denied his bail application last July.

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The Allahabad High Court denied Kappan bail since he had “no work” at Hathras.

The High Court granted bail to Kappan’s co-accused cab driver Mohammad Alam on August 23. The bail order said that while “incriminating evidence” was discovered from Kappan’s possession, no similar material was recovered from Alam.

Kappan stated in the Special Leave Petition filed through Advocate Pallavi Pratap that his visit was to fulfil his professional obligation of reporting on the infamous Hathras rape/murder case. He was arrested, however, on the basis of “false” charges.

(With Agencies Inputs)