Allahabad High Court rejects journalist Kappan's bail plea

A Mathura court had rejected journalist Siddique Kappan's bail plea after which he had approached the HC

August 04, 2022 04:19 pm | Updated 10:32 pm IST - Lucknow

File picture of journalist Siddique Kappan being produced at a court in Mathura. File

File picture of journalist Siddique Kappan being produced at a court in Mathura. File | Photo Credit: PTI

The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on Thursday has rejected the bail petition of journalist Siddique Kappan who was booked under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in Hathras conspiracy case. The single Bench of Justice Krishan Pahal dismissed the bail application on merits. The detailed order of the High Court is yet to be released.

Mr. Kappan, who worked as a reporter for Malayalam news website Azhimukham and also held the post of secretary in Delhi Unit of Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ), has been arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police on October 5, 2020, when he was on his way to Hathras to cover the issue of gang-rape and murder of a Dalit girl. The 42-year-old- journalist has been in jail ever since and has been booked with charges under Section 124 A(sedition), Section 295A(deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) and Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on religious grounds) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) by the State’s law enforcement agencies apart from Sections 17 and 18 of UAPA.

After the denial of bail by the High Court, the journalist, who is lodged in Mathura district jail since the last 22 months, is likely to approach the apex court for relief.

In July 2021, Mr. Kappan’s bail application was rejected by the Session Court in Mathura and afterwards he approached the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court which has reserved its order on August 2 after hearing the arguments of the counsels of the accused and the Uttar Pradesh government.

After the court’s order political reactions also come up as former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said the judiciary should “walk the talk”. She took on social networking site Twitter and wrote, “CJI said bail & not jail is the norm so why isn’t it being implemented? Siddique Kappan was once again denied bail and continues to be behind bars for 22 months for covering the Hathras gang-rape. High time judiciary walks the talk,”.

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