Senior Congress leader and former Home Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday expressed displeasure about courts not following the principle of granting bails before imprisonment, and pointed to the cases of journalist Siddique Kappan and comedian Munawar Faruqui.
“Why are the courts denying bail to journalist Siddique Kappan and comedian Munawar Faruqui?” Chidambaram said in a series of tweets.
“Equality means equal access to justice and equal application of legal principles,” he said.
Munawar Faruqui was arrested on the basis of compliant by a Hindu fringe group leader on January 1 after he was accused of hurting religious sentiments by making indecent comments on Hindu deities during a performance at a cafe in Indore. Before the arrest, he was also beaten by a Hindu mob. Three days after the arrest, the Indore Police had said there was no visual evidence to show that Faruqui had insulted the deities. The trial court and high court have twice rejected the bail pleas of Faruqui, stating that his release would disrupt law and order.
Malayalam journalist Kappan, along with two campus front leaders and a vehicle driver, was arrested under draconian UAPA on October 5 while he was travelling to meet the family of the 19-year-old Dalit woman from Hathras who was raped by four upper caste Thakur men. The Supreme Court did not grant bail to Kappan, but issued a notice and sought the response of the Uttar Pradesh government in connection with his case.
Chidambaram also asked why the principle of “bail is the rule and jail is the exception” not being followed in every case despite judgements by a Constitution bench led by Justice Ravindra Bhat and another bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud in the matter.