SC Grants Bail To Kerala Journalist Siddiqui Kappan

Kappan had been booked under the draconian Unlawful Activites (Prevention) Act, while on his way to Hathras.
Kerala based journalist Siddiqui Kappan granted bail by SC
Kerala based journalist Siddiqui Kappan granted bail by SC

Journalist Siddiqui Kappan from Kerala was on Friday granted bail by the Supreme Court of India. He had been arrested and was in jail since 2020 when he had gone to report the gang-rape of a 19-year-old in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras.

Hearing the matter, the apex court observed that “Every person has freedom of expression”.

Kappan had been booked under the draconian Unlawful Activites (Prevention) Act, while on his way to Hathras.

Chief Justice U U Lalit, while pronouncing the verdict said that the journalist would report to Delhi Police for the next six weeks and in Kerala after that.

A reporter with Malayalam news portal Azhimukham, Kappan was earlier denied bail by courts. Police had said that he tried to disturb the law and order situation in Hathras.

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They also alleged that the accused had links to the Popular Front of India (PFI). However, Kappan maintained his innocence throughout stating that there was a ploy to frame him.

The Uttar Pradesh government argued in court today that Kappan was paid to incite violence and that he was not an accredited journalist.

Mahesh Jethmalani, appearing for the UP government said, “He was trying to create a riot situation and use explosives. He belongs to the PFI and this is a terrorist organization.”

The Supreme Court questioned the evidence against the journalist asking, “What was found with Kappan?”

CJI Lalit said, “No explosives were found, material was not found with him but in the car and they weren't used for propagating.”

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