We are trying to discourage Article 32 petitions: Chief Justice of India

The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government in the matter pertaining to journalist Siddique Kappan’s release

Image Courtesy:telegraphindia.com

On November 16, a Bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde commented, “We are trying to discourage Article 32 petitions” while hearing a habeas corpus plea filed for the release of Kerala journalist, Siddique Kappan, who was arrested while he was proceeding to Hathras to cover the alleged rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit woman.

LiveLaw reported that the top court agreed to issue notice to the Uttar Pradesh Government but told the petitioners that they might be directed to approach the High Court. Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal appeared for the petitioners Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ). The matter has been adjourned to November 20.

Earlier, the bench headed by CJI which also comprised Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian had, on October 12, adjourned the Habeas Corpus petition asking the petitioners to approach the Allahabad High Court. The apex court had also asked the petitioner to file an amended petition.

Today, the CJI asked Senior Advocate Sibal as to why the amended petition had not been filed yet. The CJI also asked Sibal, “We are not on the merits of the case. Why can’t you go to the High Court?”

Mr. Kapil Sibal submitted that the amended petition cannot be filed until they get the opportunity to meet Siddique Kappan in jail. Mr. Sibal responded that as Kappan was not allowed to meet anyone and was in jail, he could not go to the High Court. Further, an Affidavit had also been filed in this regard.

SabrangIndia had reported that on October 29, the KUWJ had moved the Supreme Court for an interim direction on permission for regular interview over video conferencing of journalist, Siddique Kappan, with his family members and lawyers.

On October 5, 2020, Siddique Kappan, two Campus Front of India members and their driver were arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police for promoting enmity between different religious groups and were booked under sedition laws, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act.  

Following his arrest, the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) had filed a habeas corpus petition in the Supreme Court challenging Kappan’s custody. The KUWJ argued that the arrest was unconstitutional.

On November 13, a Mathura Court rejected the bail applications of three accused on grounds that the allegations against them are grave in nature.  


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