SC objects to ‘unfair reporting’, allows journalist Siddique Kappan to meet his lawyers

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    SC challenge ‘unfair reporting’, enables reporter Siddique Kappan to fulfill his legal representatives

    By: Express Web Desk|New Delhi |

    Updated: November 20, 2020 2: 50: 29 pm





    Bail pleas of journalist, another: SC says why not go to HC Siddique Kappan (with cap), secretary of the Kerala Union of Working Reporters, and 3 others who were held with him were produced before a court in Mathura. (PTI)

    The Supreme Court on Friday allowed Kerala-based journalist Siddique Kappan to satisfy his lawyers to sign on the vaqalatnama to facilitate his bail even as the bench took objection to the way in which the case was reported in the media.

    The SC bench, headed by CJI S A Bobde and making up Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, was hearing the habeas corpus petition filed by the Kerala Union of Working Reporters (KUWJ) against custody of Kappan.

    The bench enabled senior supporter Kapil Sibal, appearing for KUWJ, to meet his customer after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the court there was no objection to Kappan fulfilling his legal representatives. “There was no objection and there is no objection,” SG Mehta said while denying accusations that Kappan’s lawyers were not permitted to satisfy him. The court has adjourned the matter till next week.

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    ” List after one week. In the meantime, the accused person’s signature can be obtained in jail for taking option in courts,” the bench stated.

    In an affidavit filed in Supreme Court, the UP federal government declared that a “totally incorrect story” was being made that Kappan was not being allowed to speak with loved ones or attorneys as during judicial custody, he had connected with his relative on three celebrations on phone on his written request.

    ” It concerns note that accused Siddique Kappan has actually never requested to satisfy any relative or any legal representative nor has file any such application before the qualified court/jail authorities till date,” it stated.

    Kappan, who deals with Malayalam news website Azhimukham, and three others were apprehended on October 5 in Mathura while on his way to Hathras where a 19- year-old Dalit woman had actually been presumably attacked and gangraped causing her death in a Delhi medical facility.

    Uttar Pradesh Cops have alleged that Kappan and two members of the School Front of India (CFI) were part of a “conspiracy” to inflame spiritual enmity over the Hathras rape, and booked them on different charges, including under the rigid UAPA and sedition.

    In course of the quick hearing, CJI Bobde stated media reports claiming that the court had actually rejected relief to Kappan were “unreasonable”. “There was really unjust reporting about our earlier order. I am fretted about the unreliable reporting. The reports said that the journalist was refused relief,” the SC stated. The bench asked Sibal to go through the reply submitted by Uttar Pradesh and file rejoinder. “You can submit bail and you read the reply and then we will hear you totally,” the bench said.

    In the last hearing, the SC sought actions from the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government on the plea looking for the release of Kappan while observing that it was “trying to prevent” people from filing petitions under Post 32 of the Constitution— which grants individuals the right to approach the leading court looking for enforcement of fundamental rights.

    In the affidavit filed in Supreme Court, the UP federal government stated Kappan was going to Hathras under the “attire of journalism” with a “very determined design” to develop caste divide and disrupt law and order situation.

    ” Kappan was the Office Secretary of Popular Front of India (PFI) who is utilizing a journalist cover by showing identity card of a Kerala-based paper called as ‘Tejas’ that was closed in 2018,” the UP affidavit stated, according to Live Law. ” Cellphone, laptop computer, pamphlets having headlines of ‘Justice for Hathras Victim’ and so on were appropriately taken and details of such arrest was properly communicated to the family members,” it further mentioned.

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