Siddique Kappan “secretly” discharged from AIIMS, taken to Mathura jail 

The journalist, who was diagnosed as Covid-19 positive was receiving treatment at the Delhi hospital, but was reportedly discharged without informing his family or lawyer, alleges wife

Siddique Kappan

The Supreme Court Bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and AS Bopanna had ordered the Uttar Pradesh government to shift Kerala-based journalist Siddique Kappan to a Delhi hospital for better medical treatment. Siddique had fallen in the bathroom jail and injured himself, however when he was taken to a Hospital in Mathura he was allegedly “chained to the bed like an animal” and was being ill-treated.

The SC had at that time said, “We direct that Siddique Kappan be shifted to RML Hospital, or AIIMS or any other government hospital in Delhi. After recovery, he can be sent back to Mathura Jail.” The SC was hearing an application filed by Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) seeking Kappan’s transfer from the Mathura hospital to All India Institute of Medical Sciences or Safdarjung hospital in Delhi citing medical emergency. Kappan’s wife Raihanath, had also written to CJI Ramana for his intervention to release Siddique from the hospital and be sent to Mathura jail till his plea for release from jail was heard. On April 27, the top court had called for his medical records

Today, Raihanath told SabrangIndia that Siddique Kappan was discharged from AIIMS hospital in New Delhi, and taken back to the Mathura jail in Uttar Pradesh yesterday. “I only learnt about it late last night that he may have been discharged. I did not know any updates nor was his lawyer informed and he was shifted secretly at night,” said Raihanath. She added that “Kappan had tested Covid-19 positive at AIIMS even though the court in UP had been told he was Covid negative.” Raihanath said, “He was brought to hospital and since May 1 when I came to Delhi I had been trying to see him once.” She continued to believe he was still undergoing treatment at AIIMS hospital but soon learned that he had been moved back to jail, reportedly on the intervening night between Wednesday and Thursday. 

Kappan’s wife Raihanath told SabrangIndia that she and her elder son had come to Delhi, when they heard he had been tested Covid-19 positive in hospital. “I reached on May 1, and on May 2, I went to the AIIMS hospital to request them to let me see him once. At the ward the policeman stopped us. I tried for two hours just to see my husband. But they did now allow me.” The guard told Raihanath that the prison rules do not allow prisoners undergoing treatments to meet relatives or lawyers. 

According to a report in Maktoob, Raihanath’s younger two children and 90-year-old ailing mother had to be left behind in Kerala, when she rushed to Delhi. According to the report, Kappan’s lawyer Wills Mathews on May 4, filed an urgent application to the superintendent of Mathura jail requesting him “to give orders to the Director of AIIMS hospital and the police constables guarding Kappan to permit Raihanath and her son to meet Kappan during the visitor’s time between 4 P.M and 6 P.M.” The lawyer told the media that neither he nor Kappan’s family are aware of medical treatment given. According to the Maktoob report, the superintendent replied saying, “There is no provision in the UP jail manual which empowers the superintendent of the jail to allow the lawyer, prisoner’s wife or relatives to meet with the prisoner who is admitted in a hospital which is situated outside the jail”.

 Raihanath then approached the Mathura court seeking issuance of similar orders “to the jail superintendent of Mathura jail and the Director of AIIMS to grant her permission to meet her ailing husband on an urgent basis.” Raihanath reportedly got to know about her husband’s discharge around 10.30 P.M on May 6 report. She has alleged, “They discharged him without informing me or his lawyer. We are assuming that he was taken to Mathura jail. It can only be confirmed after talking to the jail superintendent.” 



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