SC asks arrested Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan to move bail plea in Allahabad HC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) to move a bail application for its member Siddique Kappan, who was arrested in Hathras in Uttar Pradesh on October 6, in the Allahabad High Court.

The journalists' body approached the apex court with a habeas corpus petition for Kappan.

The three-judge bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian will consider the habeas corpus plea after four weeks.

The UP police had arrested Kappan, alleging that he was linked to the Popular Front of India (PFI), but the charge was denied by Kappan's family and KUWJ.

Kappan was travelling to Hathras to report the gang rape and murder of a Dalit girl.

Three others - Atiq-Ur-Rahman, Masood Ahemed and Alam - who were with Kappan were also arrested.

All the four have been slapped with provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who appeared for the journalists' union, requested the bench that he should be allowed to approach the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution (which gives citizens the right to approach the Supreme Court). "“When we filed this plea, it was a habeas corpus petition,” Sibal told the court. “Now we learnt that an FIR was registered. UAPA was invoked. No court in UP would grant us bail. Let us approach you under Article 32 of the Constitution,” Sibal pleaded, according to Bar and Bench.

At this point, Chief Justice Bobde said that the petitioner should approach Allahabad High Court. “We are here in case something wrong happens,” he said.

Kappan, who works for Malayalam news portal azhimukham, is the secretary of the Delhi unit of KUWJ.

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