Journalist Siddique Kappan Granted Bail in PMLA case

As the courts have granted him bail in both cases, Kappan will walk out of prison after more than 2 years.

Siddique Kappan
Siddique Kappan has remained imprisoned for seven months now. Image Source: Bar and Bench

Siddique Kappan, a journalist from Kerala, was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court today in relation to a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case that the Enforcement Directorate had filed against him (ED).

He was granted bail by the single judge bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh. After the Lucknow District Court denied him bail in the case, he moved to the High Court in October 2022 to request relief.

Three months after the Supreme Court had granted bail in all other counts brought against him, the Allahabad High Court granted bail to Kappan.

Kappan, who was arrested by UP Police on October 6, 2020 when he was travelling to report on Hathras Rape case. He was granted bail by the Supreme Court on September 9 in connection with the Hathras Conspiracy case. Kappan was detained for alleged offenses under Sections 17 and 18 of the UAPA, Sections 120B, 153A and 295A of the IPC, and Sections 65 and 72 of the IT Act. He was accused of conspiring to stir disturbances in response to the gangrape murder of a Dalit young girl in Hathras.

Since it was the last working day for the Allahabad high court this year, Kappan will be in custody until at least January 2.

Also Read: Political Prisoners: Collusion of State Apparatus and Apathetic Law Enforcement

On September 9, the Supreme Court granted him bail in the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) case, saying that “every citizen has the right to free expression”. However, he remained in jail in Lucknow in a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, which was slapped against him by the Enforcement Directorate in 2021.

The Lucknow bench’s Friday order pertains to the second case.

Kappan’s counsel Md. Danish told The Wire that the Lucknow bench of the high court granted him bail without any conditions. However, he was still waiting for the order.

He added that the court has asked for two sureties for Kappan to be eligible for bail.

As the courts have granted him bail in both cases, he is most likely to walk out of prison after more than 26 months.

In response to the Supreme Court’s order, the UP government had opposed his bail alleging that he has “deep links” with the Popular Front of India, which is not a banned organisation.

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court had earlier rejected Kappan’s bail application, saying the journalist had “no work” in Hathras. Kappan had challenged this order at the Supreme Court.

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