SC issues notice to UP govt on plea against arrest of Kerala journalist on way to Hathras
The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to Uttar Pradesh government and the state police seeking their response on a petition filed by Kerala Union of Working Journalists, challenging the detention of Siddique Kappan. The Kerala journalist was arrested by Mathura Police last month while he was on his way to cover the Hathras gang-rape incident.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde posted the matter for hearing on Friday.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who appeared for the Union, sought interim bail for the journalist as he has been in jail since October 4.
The bench said that it would first wish to hear the state and indicated that it may direct the matter to be sent to Allahabad high court.
“We are trying to discourage Article 32 petitions (power of Supreme Court to provide relief for violation of fundamental rights). There is a spate of Article 32 petitions,” the bench, also comprising Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian said.
Sibal pointed out that this was the case of journalist under detention and similar petitions have been entertained in the past.
The bench added, “We are not commenting on the merits of the case. We are aware of similar orders in the past and the vast powers that this Court possesses under Article 32. We want to discourage this trend.”
Kappan is charged under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for his alleged links with banned outfit Popular Front of India (PFI).