On Monday, the supreme court told that it will hear a Hathras journalist body plea after four weeks challenging the arrest of a scribe in Uttar Pradesh under the Unlawful Actives (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
While on his way to Hathras, the journalist was arrested by the state police. Where a Dalit woman died on September 29 after being allegedly gang-raped by four upper caste men on September 14.
Appearing for the (KUWJ) Kerala Union of Working Journalists Kapil Sibal a senior advocate, submitted before a bench headed by S.A. Bobde Chief Justice and comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramaniam, that with the UAPA charges added in the case, the journalist will not get any relief from any court in the state.
Sibal told that: No court will give him bail and the case will go on for years.”
To which the bench told that the petitioner should approach the Allahabad High Court for relief in the matter.
The petitioner should approach the Allahabad High Court for relief in the matter, the bench replied.
This was habeas corpus petition, Sibal submitted. However, his client could file a plea under Article 32, which could be entertained by the top court.
To which the bench the replied that a habeas corpus petition can only be filed by the family members and asked Sibal to amend the petition.
The observation from the top court came on a plea by KUWJ challenging the arrest of the journalist, Siddique Kappan. Sibal sought time to amend the petition and top court dismissed the matter.
The plea claimed that Kappan was arrested at the toll plaza near Hathras, on his way to Boolgarhi village on October 5. He was on his way to report on the alleged rape and date of the 19-year-old Dalit woman. The petitioner contended before the court and has filed the petition after being seriously aggrieved by the violation articles 14, 19 and 21.
Through advocate Wills Matthew, the plea filed and termed the arrest as illegal and unconstitutional, and the petitioner urged the apex court to issue directions for Kappan’s production and also his release from illegal detention.
The four men linked with the PFI’s student wing (CFI) Campus Front of India were identified as Atiq-ur-Rehman, Masood Ahmed, Siddique and Alam, according to the Uttar Pradesh Police.
Malappuram’s native Siddique has been identified by Kerala’s journalist body by his full name as Siddique Kappan and has claimed that he is a senior Delhi-based journalist.
The plea told that: “Because of coronavirus the petitioner and the family members of the detainee could not move freely and collect further additional information connected with the arrest,”
Neither the family nor colleagues of Siddique were informed about the arrest, the petitioner told.