Thursday, June 13, 2024

Three months on, bail process yet to be completed in Siddique Kappan’s UAPA case

Though three months have passed since bail sureties were provided for jailed Muslim journalist Siddique Kappan in the UAPA case against him, as per Supreme Court order, the verification of the sureties is still pending in Uttar Pradesh.

The “endless delay” in verifying the given sureties was unjustifiable, Raihanath Kappan, Siddique Kappan’s wife said to The Hindu.

“Too disappointed to learn that the verification of bail conditions are not yet complete even three months after the SC order,” Raihanath said.

The jailed Kerala journalist remained in Uttar Pradesh jail despite getting bail in Hathras conspiracy case under UAPA by the apex court on 9 September. Kappan is still in jail as he is yet to get relief in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case lodged against him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

“Justice delayed is justice denied. Three months have passed since we provided the sureties for bail in the UAPA case as per the SC order of September 9. Not to mention the freedom of expression, but with not even the minimum amount of responsibility from the authorities to acknowledge the sureties received, it is literally forbidding justice. We are expecting to get the bail conditions fulfilled at the earliest by verifying the provided sureties, to not paralyse the process,” The Hindu quoted Mohamed Dhanish K.S., Kappan’s lawyer, as saying.

“I am very surprised and have a lot of questions in my mind. If in the case of a Supreme Court order the implementation can take so much time, what about very ordinary cases where matters are entirely left to lower courts? How much a litigant might be suffering?,” said 79-year-old Roop Rekha Verma, a former acting Vice-Chancellor of Lucknow University, one of the sureties in Kappan’s case.

Kappan remained in jail for over 700 days before the Supreme Court granted him bail on September 9.

Kappan had been arrested in October 2020 while on his way to Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras to report on the gangrape and death of a Dalit woman. He was booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and charged with sedition.

The UP government alleged he and other Muslim men were the part of a larger conspiracy to “foment religious discord and spread terror in the country”.


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