On February 1, a Sessions Court in Lucknow signed the orders ordering Kerala Journalist Siddiqui Kappan to be released on bail. The order also provides that his sureties and bail bonds have been submitted and accepted. He will most likely be released from jail this evening. This comes 1.5 months after the Allahabad High Court granted him bail in connection with a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case.
The order is as follows.
Courtesy: Bar and Bench
On December 23, 2022, Kappan was granted bail by Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh, Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court, in a suit filed against him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The Enforcement Directorate had filed the PMLA complaint in February 2021 against Kappan and others.
In September 2022, he had been granted bail in connection with a charge brought under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act by a bench comprising the then Chief Justice of India U.U. Lalit and Justice S. Ravindra Bhat. However, he had remained in jail due to the ED case, for which he was denied bail in October by a Lucknow sessions court.
Brief about the case against Kappan:
On October 6, 2020, Kappan and three others were apprehended while on their way to Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, where a Dalit woman had died after being gang-raped. The police said that the accused was attempting to disrupt peace and order in Hathras, and that the accused had ties to the Popular Front of India (PFI). Police had initially detained the journalist for having violated the provisions of the draconian UAPA.
Under the Hathras “conspiracy case”, Kappan had been kept under custody for alleged offences under Sections 17/18 of UAPA, Sections 120B 153A/295A IPC, 65/72 IT Act for alleged conspiracy to incite riots following the gangrape-murder of a Dalit minor girl in Hathras. Kappan, a journalist from Kerala, was merely on a professional job, covering the case. He was granted bail by the Supreme Court bench comprising of the then Chief Justice of India U.U. Lalit and Justice S. Ravindra Bhat in all the above-mentioned sections on September 9, 2022.
The enforcement directorate (ED) then initiated a case against him under the anti-money laundering law, levying yet another severe accusation. The ED arrested Kappan in the PMLA case on grounds that he got money from a foreign country without authorisation and used it to commit crimes against the country’s interests.
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