SC asks UP to produce jailed Kerala journalist's medical records on April 28
The Supreme Court on Tuesday (April 27) asked the Uttar Pradesh government to produce by the next day all medical reports of Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan, who was arrested on October 5 last year while on his way to cover the Hathras rape-murder case.
“We will hear the entire matter tomorrow [April 28],” said a bench led by Chief Justice NV Ramana while seeking medical reports of the arrested journalist, who is facing charges under the stringent provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
Kappan’s wife Raihanth Kappan and Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) have sought the apex court’s immediate intervention.
On Saturday, Raihanth wrote to Ramana, alleging that her husband was “chained like an animal to a cot” at KM Medical College and is not permitted to move.
The UP Police’s Special Task Force (STF) filed a charge sheet against Kappan and seven others in a Mathura court on April 3 accusing them of sedition and attempting to incite violence in the state. He is also facing anti-terror charges.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the UP government, refuted the charges of Kappan being chained. He said that since the habeas corpus petition filed by the Kerala journalists association demanding Kappan’s release is not legally maintainable, his wife’s fresh plea is also non-maintainable.
“He is not in illegal detention, but under detention as per the court’s order. The habeas corpus petition does not lie,” the solicitor said.
Ka[[an’s lawyer, Wills Mathews, however, clarified he was not pressing the court to hear the habeas corpus petition, but sought its intervention for a limited relief, which is to direct the UP police not to keep him in chains.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has written to his UP counterpart, Yogi Adityanath, requesting him to ensure expert healthcare and humane treatment to Kappan.
Eleven MPs from Kerala too have reportedly urged Ramana, requesting him to urgently hear the petition for Kappan’s release.