Lucknow court rejects Siddique Kappan’s bail plea in PMLA case

Siddique Kappan will continue to be in jail though Supreme Court granted him bail in September in other cases

November 01, 2022 03:31 am | Updated 11:58 am IST - Lucknow

Siddique Kappan. File.

Siddique Kappan. File. | Photo Credit: PTI

A Lucknow sessions court on Monday rejected the bail plea of Kerala-based journalist Siddique Kappan in a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

The rejection of bail application in the PMLA case means that Mr. Kappan will need to remain in jail despite being granted bail by the Supreme Court in other cases in September 2022. It is likely that his lawyers will approach the Allahabad High Court soon for bail in the PMLA case.

“Siddique Kappan has already been granted bail by the honourable Supreme Court(SC) on September 9 in the predicating offence. Today in the ED case, bail rejection order came without considering the merits as well as the facts of the case,” said Mohamed Dhanish K.S., lawyer of the jailed journalist. 

Mr. Kappan has been lodged in U.P. jails since his arrest in October 2020 while he was on his way to Hathras, where a Dalit woman had died after allegedly being gang-raped and assaulted by four persons. Mr. Kappan was booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Information Technology (IT) Act, apart from the PMLA by the law enforcement agencies.

The Supreme Court (SC) granted bail to Mr. Kappan on September 9 in the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) case, stating that “every citizen has the right to free expression”. It took days for Mr. Kappan’s lawyers to find an Uttar Pradesh resident who agreed to stand surety to fulfil bail conditions after the top court’s decision.

At the time of his arrest, Mr. Kappan was working as a reporter for Malayalam news website Azhimukham and holding the post of secretary in the Delhi unit of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ).

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