On Sunday, Raihanath Siddique, the wife of Journalist Siddique Kappan, sent a Notice of contempt to the government of Uttar Pradesh for not following the directive given by the Supreme Court dated April 28, to provide the required medical assistance to the journo.
The Notice sent through Advocate Wills Mathews also alleged that the UP government deliberately submitted misleading information before to the SC with reference to the medical status of the imprisoned journalist.
On April 28, the apex court had directed that Siddique Kappan be shifted to a medical facility in New Delhi from Mathura Jail in Uttar Pradesh, for medical care after which he was shifted to AIIMS, New Delhi on April 30. The notice alleged that Kappan was discharged from the hospital and moved back to the isolation ward of Mathura Jail on May 7th even when he had not recovered from COVID-19. On May 1, his wife and son had travelled from Kerala to Delhi to see him but they were denied permission citing that there existed no provision for the same in the UP-Jail manual.
His wife has alleged that Kappan told her over a call that he was brought back to the jail at 2:30 in the morning and was not provided with any food and was accommodated in a shabby place, the Live Law reported. The Notice requests court and the state government to reshift Kappan who is also diabetic to AIIMS or any other good medical care facility in Delhi within 6 hours in an ambulance with doctors.
Earlier his wife had written a letter to the Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana to shift him from the hospital he was then admitted to Delhi. The letter was written after Kappan allegedly informed her that was tied to a hospital bed and was unable to take food or use the washroom. A plea was also submitted by KUWJ on April 22nd stating that he had collapsed on the bathroom floor and had sustained grave injuries and had tested positive for COVID-19 and requested for him to be shifted to AIIMS, New Delhi. The Kerala CM, Pinarayi Vijayan also wrote to the government of UP to provide better medical assistance to Kappan.
Siddique Kappan and three others were arrested on 5th October 2020 by the Uttar Pradesh police while they were on their way to cover the rape and murder of a Dalit girl in Hathras. He and the others were accused of trying to stir up communal riots and disturb social harmony and charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and sedition. The arrest was challenged by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) through a Habeas Corpus petition demanding his release on the ground of the arrest being illegal.