New Delhi, 20 November (IANS). Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on Friday denied claims by Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) that Siddiqui Kappan had been illegally detained.
Mehta, who is representing the government of Uttar Pradesh, has Chief Justice S.A. The bench headed by Bobde said that Kappan was arrested and sent on remand by a competent court. A 9-day hearing was held on his bail. Mehta insisted that KUWJ should move the High Court.
The apex court recorded the Uttar Pradesh government’s statement that it had no objection to meeting any lawyer with Kappan nor in allowing him to sign a lawyer’s advocacy to represent Kappan in the court.
The Chief Justice then told Kapil Sibal, senior advocate representing KUWJ, that your client is a union of journalists and not an accused.
Meanwhile, Mehta also objected to Sibal’s statements that his client was not allowed to meet the journalist. The Chief Justice told Sibal, the Uttar Pradesh government is saying that Kappan is accused of a certain offense and was produced in the court. It is not detained under preventive law.
The top court has fixed the case for hearing next week. Explain that the KUWJ had filed a petition demanding the immediate release of Kappan, as well as cited violations of Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution. It claimed that on 5 October Kappan was arrested at the toll plaza near Hathras. He was going to report on the alleged rape and death of a 19-year-old girl in Hathras. The journalist has been charged under the anti-terrorism law UAPA or the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.