ILNS: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Central government to file a medical report and a short reply to a plea, which claimed that journalist Siddique Kappan, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, while reporting the Hathras rape case, has been kept chained.
The bench of Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and A.S. Bopanna said, “We’ll hear the whole matter. Let him file the medical report.” The Court was hearing the writ petition (habeas corpus), filed by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists, seeking the release of Kappan.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted, “I have a preliminary objection, that one person is in jail and a charge sheet has been filed against him under the UAPA. Eight persons filed for bail and a journalists’ association files a Habeas Corpus petition, which is not maintainable. He is a COVID-19 patient, and we have moved him to the hospital. He is not in illegal detention. He is under judicial order passed by the Sessions Court.”
Advocate Wills Mathew, appearing for Kappan, said, “The ground of Habeas Corpus was for non-compliance of the guidelines of this court. On April 21, the journalist tested positive and was taken to hospital. There, he was chained and could not even go to the washroom. I don’t know where he is.”
While SG Mehta asked for an adjournment, stating that there is a special bench, the Court directed him to file a short reply along with the medical report and listed the matter for tomorrow.
Mathews further requested the Bench to allow Kappan to talk to his wife through video conferencing. The Bench, however, said, “We’ll hear the whole matter, let him file the medical report.”