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Allahabad HC Dismiss Bail Application of Siddique Kappan in Matter of Hathras Conspiracy Case

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Aastha Thakur

Published on: 05 August 2022 at 21:42 IST

The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court denied the bail plea of Journalist Siddique Kappan who was arrested under the under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in the Hathras conspiracy case.

A Single Bench headed by Justice Krishan Pahal gave the rejection orders and detailed order will be published later on website.

On Tuesday, August 2, the Court reserved the decision after hearing the argument of both counsels of State and the accused.

In July 2021, the Mathura Court rejected the bail plea of the accused after which he filed appeal against the order of the district court.

The accused, Kappan is reporter by profession for Malayalam news portal Azhimukham and also reprises role of Secretary of the Delhi unit of Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ). He was arrested along with three others in UP in year 2020, while he was on his way to Hathras to cover the story of gang-rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit woman.

The police officials claimed that the accused was trying to violate the law and order in Hathras. Moreover, it was submitted that the accused had link with the Popular Front of India

(PFI).

Kappan and others arrested were charged under Sections 17 and 18 of the UAPA, Section 124A (sedition), Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion) & Section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) of IPC & Sections 65, 72 & 75 of the Information Technology Act.

The Kerala Union of Working Journalists released statement stating it was “deeply disappointed” with the Kappan’s bail plea being rejected adding that it will approach the Supreme Court.

Further, the KUWJ alleged the proceedings before the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court “seems to be conflict with the norms of journalist conduct issued by the Press Council of India under the Press Council Act of 1978.”

However, the Court noted that though the Kappan submitted that he wanted to proceed to Hathras in the capacity of a journalist, however the identity card found with him was of a news platform, which has stopped operations in the year 2018.

Further, Court observed his linkage with PFI and past activity in anti-national acts.

Hence, the Court came upon the decision to deny bail of Kappan as he is damaging the integrity of the nation and also misrepresented as journalist by profession.