The Supreme Court Wednesday denied bail to alleged PFI journalist Siddique Kappan and ordered the Uttar Pradesh government to get him treated in a government hospital in Delhi. The Court added Kappan may approach a lower court with a regular bail application.
The Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) had approached the Court by way of a Habeas Corpus petition. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, told the Court since Kappakn was in judicial custody, Habeas Corpus petition was not maintainable.
Kappan’s wife had also approached the top court in the country. Advocate Wills Mathew, representing the KUWJ and Kappan’s wife, pleaded for bail. Kappan, along with three others, was arrested in Uttar Pradesh in October last year while he was allegedly going to cover the brutal rape and murder of a Dalit girl. An identity card issued by now banned Thejas newspaper was recovered from him.
Solicitor General Mehta told the Court Thejas was a mouthpiece of Popular Front of India and had links with banned terrorist organisation SIMI. Challenging the Habeas Corpus petition, Mehta said, “A writ of Habeas Corpus lies only when there is illegal detention. This court has held that when a magistrate remands him to custody, then it becomes official custody and no Habeas Corpus can lie. All of them have been represented by lawyers in trial courts.”
Accepting Mehta’s argument, the bench of Justice Surya Kant, CJI NV Raman and Justice AS Bopanna dismissed the petition.