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  • The Supreme court has granted bail to journalist Siddiqui Kappan, who was in jail since October 2020 in a conspiracy case linked to covering the Hathras gang-rape incident.
  • The Hathras gangrape case occurred on 14th September 2020, where a Dalit woman, 19-year-old, was gang raped in Uttar Pradesh. She died in the Delhi hospital 2 weeks later.
  • A bench headed by Chief Justice UU Lalit and Justices S Ravindra Bhat and P S Narasimha noted that nothing provocative was shown as yet, in the two years of his imprisonment.
  • The SC has asked him to be in Delhi for 6 weeks.
  • And permitted him to go back to Kerala after thaton condition that he shall mark his presence with Nizamuddin police station every week.
  • One of the conditions of the bail also included that the appellant shall stay within the jurisdiction of Nizamuddin area here in Delhi.
  • Since the case is at the stage of framing the charges, the court noted that it would refrain from dealing with progress of investigation and the material collected by the probe agency.
  • The court was dealing with an appeal filed by Kappan against the Allahabad High Court's order denying him bail.
  • He was kept in prison for alleged offences under section 17/18 of UAPA, Sections 120B, 153A/295A IPC, 65/72 IT Act.
  • While granting the bail plea, he was asked to comply with all the conditions and not misuse the liberty.
  • Every person has the right to free expression. He is trying to show that victims need justice and raise a common voice. Is that a crime in the eyes of law? CJI Lalit asked referring to widespread protests the incident.
  • The bench marked that such protests brought about a change in law during Nirbhaya Case. However, there is nothing provocative shown here
  • In this case of Sidhique Kappan versus State of Uttar Pradesh, CJI also questioned if there was a document which shows that he must indulge in rioting.
  • Sr. Adv. Sibbal also highlighted that some of the documents were not even related to India and that the entire case was "not prosecution, but persecution.
  • Hence the bail was granted.


 

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