The Supreme Court of India has directed the Uttar Pradesh government to shift Kerala journalist Siddique Kaappan who is facing grave health problems in UP Jail, to Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital or All India Institute Of Medical Sciences in New Delhi for medical treatment.
After his recovery, he has to be sent back to Mathura jail.
A bench comprising Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justices Surya Kant and AS Bopanna indicated this intention while hearing the habeas petition filed by Kerala Union of Working Journalists seeking Kappan’s release, according to legal website Live Law.
The bench has disposed of the habeas corpus petition and has given liberty to Kappan to seek appropriate legal remedies for bail.
During the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the UP Governemnt, vehemently opposed the suggestion.
“Mr Mehta, it is also in the interest of state, and you have to protect him when he is in your custody. Let him get better medical facilities. We are confining only to the issue of medical issue,” Justice Ramana said.
Earlier, the top court heard the arguments of Advocate Wills Mathew for Kerala Union of Working Journalists, who argued that Kappan was illegally arrested and that the allegations in the FIR and chargesheet did not constitute any offence.
Meanwhile, The State of UP today morning filed an affidavit saying that Kappan’s RT-PCR test showed a COVID negative result, and that he has been discharged from Mathura hospital back to jail.
Kappan who was arrested on 5 October 2020, along with three Muslim youths including a cab driver, while he was on his way to Hathras to report on the gang rape and death of a Dalit woman tested positive for the novel coronavirus and was admitted to the hospital in Mathura last week.
The Supreme Court had been petitioned for an immediate intervention to release Kappan from Mathura Medical College to Mathura Jail ‘as his life is in extreme danger.”
“The wife of Siddique Kappan, came to know that…Kappan is chained like an animal in a cot of the Medical College Hospital, Mathura, without mobility, and he neither could take food, nor could go to toilet for the last more than 4 days, and is very critical,” read the plea by Advocate Wills Mathews.