The Supreme Court on Wednesday adjourned the hearing of the habeas corpus petition filed by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) demanding the release of their Delhi Unit secretary Siddique Kappan till next week. Kappan was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police when he was on his way to cover the Hathras gangrape incident. The top court adjourned the matter granting the petitioners one week’s time to implead Kappan’s wife and daughter in the petition.
Earlier, the petitioners said Kappan’s detention was illegal and violated fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14,19 and 21 of the Constitution. The petitioners have contended that the detention was in violation of the guidelines issued by the top court in DK Basu vs state of West Bengal and various other judgments. The petitioners argued that the arrest was made to obstruct Kappan from carrying out his duties as a journalist. It further stated that neither the family members nor the colleagues of Kappan were informed about his arrest.
Senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, appearing for the KUWJ, cited the example of the Arnab Goswami case while demanding Kappan’s release. Sibal was asked by the top court to approach Allahabad High Court for getting bail. Sibal, however, said they have approached the Supreme Court directly as the case involves grave violations. He said that the FIR was based on false allegations. The top court observed that similarity to Arnab Goswami case cannot be considered here as the petition has not been filed by the accused himself.
Replying to the observation, Sibal said he will implead wife and daughter of the accused, following which the matter was adjourned for a week.
Earlier, KUWJ in its rejoinder affidavit before the Supreme Court alleged that Kappan was being subjected to physical and mental torture in custody.