The Supreme Court, on humanitarian grounds, Monday allowed journalist Siddique Kappan to travel to Kerala to meet his ailing mother for five days. Kappan is presently lodged in Mathura jail under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) charges for allegedly “inciting communal riots and spreading terror”.
During the visit, he will not be allowed to speak to the media or post on social media or meet anyone except relatives, doctors and anybody connected with his mother’s health, the court directed.
A bench led by CJI SA Bobde was considering the interim application filed on behalf Kappan to meet his mother who is on the verge of death.
The bench brushed aside the objections by the Uttar Pradesh government, which cited Kappan’s alleged links to the Popular Front of India (PFI), among other things, to vehemently oppose the plea.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, for the UP Government, submitted that “There are posters in Kerala and the wife of Kappan is collecting money in his name as if he is a martyr. When he goes to Kerala, political opinions would be formed etc.”
“He (Kappan) may be paraded”, Mehta said.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, for Kappan, assured the court that he would not be paraded. The bench accepted Sibal’s statement.
On October 7, Kappan and three others were arrested by the UP police for allegedly having links with the PFI, which is not a banned organization, while they were en-route to Hathras to report on the gang rape of a young woman there.
The UP Police alleged that Kappan and the three other accused who were traveling with him, were part of a “conspiracy” to inflame religious enmity over the Hathras rape.