The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed that Kerala journalist Siddiqque Kappan, who is said to have suffered a fall in the jail and suffering from various comorbidities, be shifted from Uttar Pradesh's Mathura Jail to Delhi for his treatment temporarily. "He shall be sent back to Mathura jail once he recovers," the Supreme Court said.
He will be provided treatment at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, AIIMS or any other government hospital in Delhi. Once he has recovered, he will be sent back to Mathura jail, where he is in custody in a UAPA case based on the allegation that he was supposedly trying to create communal unrest in the Hathras gangrape-murder crime.
The Kerala Union of Working Journalists’ plea seeking his release has been disposed of by the court. The court has however given liberty to Kappan to seek appropriate legal remedies for bail.
Meanwhile Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the UP government opposed the shifting of Kappan to Delhi, citing that giving a hospital bed to Kappan, who is a 42-year-old Covid negative person, when several thousands of Covid positive persons with comorbidities are finding it tough to get a hospital admission, was unjustified.
Siddique Kappan, was arrested along with three persons by UP Police while they were going to Hathras on October 3, and was subsequently booked under the UAPA alleging that he and his co-passengers were trying to incite communal riots and disrupt social harmony in the wake of the Hathras gangrape-murder case.
The Kerala Union of Working Journalists filed a habeas corpus petition in the Supreme Court last year seeking Kappan’s release on the ground that he was illegally arrested. Later, Kappan’s wife also intervened in the case.
Recently, Kappan’s wife wrote to the CJI saying that that he (who has recently tested Positive for Covid-19) is chained like an animal in a cot of the Medical College Hospital, Mathura, without mobility, and that he is unable to eat, go to the toilet and that his health is poor.