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Supreme Court issues notice on plea against arrest of Kerala journalist on way to Hathras

The Supreme Court on Monday sought response of Uttar Pradesh government for on a plea challenging the arrest of Kerala-based journalist Siddique Kappan who was arrested on his way to Hathras where a Dalit woman was gang-raped by four upper caste men in her village.

Kappan, secretary of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists along with three others was arrested on October 5 and was charged under the UAPA.

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and V Ramasubramanian asked the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) as to why it has not approached the Allahabad High Court and came to the Supreme Court straight away.

When senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the journalists body sought bail for Kappan saying that there was nothing against him, the court said it will issue a notice on Friday.

Sibal said the FIR has no mention of Siddique Kappan and no offences are alleged against him. The scribe has been in jail since October 5.

While raising questions about not approaching the high court, the bench said, it is not on merits of the case. Why hasn’t the organisation gone to the High Court?

Earlier, the top court had said it would hear the plea after four weeks and in the meantime, the journalists’ body could approach the Allahabad high court for the relief.

Also Read: Covid-19: Delhi health minister says no need for lockdown, asks people to keep wearing masks

UP Police have claimed that Kappan and three other members travelling with him were allegedly linked with Popular Front of India (PFI). The police said the four men were involved in a conspiracy to inflame religious enmity over the Hathras rape, and booked them on various charges, including sedition charges under UAPA.

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