Kerala Journalist Arrest: Supreme Court Issues Notice To UP Government

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government seeking its response on a petition seeking bail and challenging the arrest of Kerala-based journalist Siddique Kappan. Mr Kappan was arrested on October 5 on his way to Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras to report on the alleged gang rape of a 20-year-old woman who died of her injuries. The journalist was charged under the anti-terror law UAPA or the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The Kerala Union of Working Journalists filed the petition under Article 32 seeking constitutional remedy for the violation of fundamental rights. The petition seeks “fulfilment of basic rights” for Mr Kappan, including legal help and access to family. It also urges the Supreme Court to direct the Mathura District Judge or a High Court judge to enquire into the alleged human rights violations of prisoners inside the Mathura jail. Senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, representing the petitioners, sought bail for Mr Kappan saying lawyers went to meet him in jail and the magistrate but were denied audience. “The FIR does not name him (Siddique Kappan); no offences alleged. He is in jail since October 5,” Mr Sibal said.

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