The Supreme Court on Friday granted bail to Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan, who was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh government in October 2022 while he was on his way to Hathras where a Dalit girl was raped.
He was booked by the State government under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
A bench headed by Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit directed Kappan to remain in Delhi for the next six weeks after the release from an Uttar Pradesh prison.
The bench imposed certain conditions on him including asking him to surrender his passport and report to the police station every Monday.
Earlier in August, a bench comprising Lalit and S Ravindra Bhat asked the Home department of the Uttar Pradesh government to file its response to Kappan’s plea by September 5 and fixed the bail plea of the scribe for final disposal four days after that on Friday next week.
At the outset, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Kappan, said the journalist is in jail since October 2020 and has been accused of taking part in terrorist activities.
“The allegations in the charge sheet are that PFI (Popular Front of India) paid me Rs 45,000 for terrorist activities,” the senior lawyer said, adding that he has been charged under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
These are “just allegations”, he said, adding the PFI is not even a banned organisation.