After a short hearing at the Supreme Court, the matter of journalist Siddique Kappan’s bail plea is scheduled for next week. Appearing for the Kerala Union of Working Journalists, senior advocate Kapil Sibal had said that the matter “deserved the exercise of the extraordinary jurisdiction” by the Supreme Court since the case involves “grave violations.” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had argued that the bail plea is also pending before a lower court, which the bench reiterated that they have already said that the petitioner should approach the lower courts (High Court). To this, subtly pointing to the Arnab Goswami bail hearing, Kapil Sibal noted that there exceptions.
After hearing from Sibal, and Mehta, who appeared for the Uttar Pradesh government, the Supreme Court had decided to post the matter to next week. The Chief Justice of India SA Bobde-led bench was mainly considering the fact that Sibal had told SC that they would implead Kappan’s wife and daughter in the habeas petition. This was after the bench had asked Sibal if an organisation could file a bail plea for an accused in a criminal case, to which the senior advocate replied that it was possible under extraordinary conditions. The bench was also comprised of AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.
SG Mehta had refuted the “allegations” put forward by KUWJ in their affidavit. The organisation had noted that the UP police had made false and frivolous claims in their affidavit against Kappan. The KUWJ also added that Kappan faced physical and mental abuse at the hands of UP police, who had also fraudulently changed the time of Kappan’s arrest from 10:20 am to 4:50 pm as per the KUWJ. Moreover, reportedly, Sibal pointed out that the phone numbers, as mentioned by the UP police as belonging to Kappan’s relatives, belong to no one, especially Kappan’s relatives. The SC gave Mehta and the UP police one-week time to file their affidavit and address the accusations fielded by KUWJ.