CASE AT HAND
- Recently, the Supreme Court was hearing an application filed by Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) seeking transfer of Kappan from UP hospital to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi citing under medical emergency.
- Kappan is a reporter for Malayalam news portal Azhimukham and is also the Secretary of the KUWJ’s Delhi unit, he was arrested along with three others in Uttar Pradesh in October while on his way to Hathras to report on the case of gang-rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit girl, later on he was booked under provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and also slapped with charges of sedition.
- KUWJ a journalist organisation had then approached the Supreme Court by way of a Habeas Corpus petition seeking Kappan's release and seeking shifting of Kappan to Delhi hospital.
THE COURT SUBMISSIONS
- In this case headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, he brushed aside the argument by the Uttar Pradesh government that giving special treatment to Kappan will be unfair to the other prisoners.
- The Bench also comprised of Justices Surya Kant and AS Bopanna who added that “Merely because the other jail inmates are receiving treatment similar to the arrestee need not deter us.”
- The Court decided that Kappan's detention has been made as per the procedure established by law, a plea for Habeas Corpus would not be prudent.
- Furthermore the Court added that the alleged detenu has got alternative remedies including the right to approach the competent court for the grant of bail and/or the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution or under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure for redressal of his grievances.
THE COURT ORDER
- The Court ordered that owing to Kappan's precarious health condition, the prayer to transfer him to Delhi hospital should be granted.
- The Court held in its order that, “It is necessary to provide adequate and effective medical assistance to him and to allay all apprehension relating to his health, it would be in the interest of justice to shift Sidhique Kappan – the arrestee, either to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital or to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) or any other Government Hospital in Delhi for the proper medical treatment. The needful shall in this regard be done at the earliest."
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