SC issues notice to UP govt on Kerala journalist arrest case

ANI
·3-min read
Representative Image
Representative Image

New Delhi [India], November 16 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh Government and sought its detailed response after hearing the bail application of Kerala journalist, Siddique Kappan, arrested allegedly by the UP Police while on his way to Hathras, to cover the Hathras incident.

The journalist was later booked under the UAPA [Unlawful Activities and (Prevention) Act].

A three-judge bench of the Apex Court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde, issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh Government and sought its response in the case.

Senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, appearing for arrested Kerala journalist, S Kappan, argued before the apex court that, "The FIR doesn't mention any offence of mine. I am being arrested in the case, without committing any offence."

"Why should I be in jail," Kapil Sibal argued for S Kappan, and sought interim bail immediately in the case.

To this, the CJI asked Sibal, "Why don't you go to the Allahabad High Court? Why have you come here, we want to discourage this petition under article 32 under the Indian Constitution."

There is a spate of article 32 petitions (before us), the CJI said and fixed the matter for further hearing to November 20, Friday, when the Uttar Pradesh Government will represent its side before the Apex Court.

"Don't go to merits of the petition," the CJI asked Sibal, and said, we will hear it further on November 20, Friday.

The KUWJ (Kerala Union of Working Journalists) had filed the habeas corpus petition before the Supreme Court on October 6, seeking its direction to immediately release of its Delhi unit Secretary, and senior journalist, Siddique Kappan, from the illegal arrest and detention from UP police.

Siddique Kappan was arrested at a toll plaza near Hathras, while on his way to Hathras in connection with his reporting assignment to cover the alleged gangrape and murder of the 19-year-old girl.

The petitioner, KUWJ, stated in its habeas corpus petition that the journalist, Kappan, and a member of the petitioner union (KUWJ) was arrested at a toll plaza near Hathras, while on his way to Hathras in connection with his reporting assignment.

The arrest was made in complete violation of the Supreme Court guidelines issued in D K Basu versus West Bengal case. The petitioner sought the Apex Court's direction to immediately release the senior journalist, Siddique Kappan, from the illegal arrest and detention from Uttar Pradesh police.

The arrest was with a view to obstruct the discharge of duty in the capacity as a journalist. The denial of access to the place of offence for reporting is a gross violation of Article 14, 19 and other sections of the Indian Constitution, the KUWJ, said in its petition.

The respondents -- Union of India (UOI), state of Uttar Pradesh, DGP UP and others -- are solely responsible for the illegal arrest and detention of Kappan and thereby the Apex Court should pass appropriate directions and orders and immediately release Kappan from the illegal arrest and detention from the clutches of Uttar Pradesh police, the petition stated. (ANI)