Hathras Gang Rape: Journalist S Kappan Granted Bail By Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday granted bail to journalist Siddique Kappan who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and sedition charges for an alleged conspiracy linked to the Hathras gangrape and murder case in 2020, reported Live Law.

The Uttar Pradesh police arrested the Kerala-based journalist on October 5, 2020, along with three other men while they were travelling to Hathras where a  Dalit woman was gang raped and killed by four upper-caste Thakur men on September 14, 2020. At Friday’s hearing, a bench comprising Chief Justice UU Lalit and Justice S Ravindra Bhat said that the journalist will have to stay in Delhi for the next six weeks and mark his presence at a local police station. After that, he can go back to his home in Kerala but will have to keep reporting to the police, the judges said, according to the report.

Kappan had moved the Supreme Court after Allahabad High Court had denied him bail on August 2 saying that he had no work in Hathras.

In his petition to the Supreme Court, Kappan said that the Uttar Pradesh Police had arrested him on the basis of “trumped up” charges. Kappan in his plea also said that his detention for nearly two years also raised questions pertaining to the right to liberty, as well as the freedom of expression and speech vested in independent media under the Constitution.

On September 5, the UP government, in its response to Kappan’s bail plea alleged that he had close links with the Popular Front of India. The Uttar Pradesh government also alleged that Kappan was part of a conspiracy to foment religious conflicts in the country.

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