Mathura court dismisses application of UP Police seeking nod to record further statement of journalist Siddique Kappan

The application moved by the UP Police to allow recording further statement and probe against Kappan Siddique was dismissed by Additional Session Judge, Anil Kumar Pandey.
Siddique Kappan
Siddique Kappan

A Mathura court has dismissed the application moved by Uttar Pradesh (UP) Police seeking nod to conduct further probe against Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan who has been booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) after he was arrested when on his way to cover the Hathras gang rape incident.

The application moved by the UP Police to allow recording further statement and probe against Siddique was dismissed by Additional Sessions Judge, Anil Kumar Pandey.

Kappan's counsel, Advocate Wills Mathews, confirmed the same to Bar & Bench.

Mathews had opposed the application, arguing that the investigation in the matter was complete and on April 3, the charge-sheet had been filed by the Police, but even after 10 months since his arrest, the accused has not received a copy of charge-sheet from the State.

It was further submitted that Kappan has been in custody for over nine months without an opportunity to defend himself. It is the right of the accused to get a clear, legible, translated copy of the charge-sheet and connected material free of cost, it was contended on behalf of Kappan.

With regard to further investigation, it was argued that it would amount to violation of the Fundamental Rights, especially right to liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Kappan's counsel also urged the Court to grant him default bail on the ground that he is in a critical condition and in need of immediate hospitalisation.

With regard to Kappan's allegation regarding refusal of medical treatment despite the specific directions by the Supreme Court, the Court has asked the jail authorities to file a report on August 23.

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Kappan, a reporter for Malayalam news portal Azhimukham and secretary of the Kerala Union of Working Journalist's Delhi unit, was arrested along with three others in Uttar Pradesh in October while on his way to Hathras to report on the gang-rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit girl.

They were later booked under provisions of UAPA and also accused of sedition.

Earlier a local court in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh had rejected the bail plea of Kappan.

Judge, Anil Kumar Pandey rejected the bail plea moved by Kappan on the ground that there was prima facie case that Kappan and other co-accused were trying to disturb the law and other situation when they were heading to cover the Hathras gang rape incident in Uttar Pradesh.

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Advocate Wills Mathews appeared for Kappan Siddique and Advocate, Surya Vir Singh appeared on behalf of Uttar Pradesh Police/STF

(Story to be updated)

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