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SC seeks UP’s response to Kerala journalist’s request for release | India News


NEW DELHI: Within a week of awarding a premium to the right to freedom of expression while granting bail to television host Arnab Goswami, on Monday the Supreme Court considered a petition for the release of a Kerala journalist who was arrested while addressing Hathras for his alleged links to the Popular Front of India (PFI), but asked a citizen arrested for tweeting against the CM of Maharashtra to move the Bombay High Court.
A bench of the Chief Justice SA Bobde and Judges AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian asked the Kerala Union of Worker Journalists, which requested the release of Siddique Kappan, who was arrested on October 5, why he could not approach the HC of Allahabad.
When appearing before the body of journalists, the main lawyer Kapil Sibal said that the petitioner was unable to meet with the arrested journalist and, therefore, the difficulty in presenting himself before the HC. “There is nothing in the FIR that has accused the detained journalist of having committed a crime,” Sibal said.
The court said: “We do not rely on merit. We are aware of our powers under Article 32 of the Constitution, but we discourage people from quickly going to the Supreme Court without approaching the HC, which is equally empowered to protect fundamental rights of citizens “. “However, Sibal’s persistence persuaded the CS to seek a response from the UP government on the petition.
Kappan was arrested along with three other people on their way to the rape victim’s village of Hathras. The police invoked the UAPA against them, accusing them of being members of the PFI who were allegedly targeting the town for inciting riots and disturbances.
Just 15 minutes later, the court took the opportunity to hear a similar request from Sameet Thakkar, who has been arrested three times since October 25 for allegedly tweeting against Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aaditya.
Appearing on behalf of Thakkar, lead attorney Mahesh Jethmalani said that the tweets did not even constitute a recognizable crime and yet the petitioner was arrested three times, first by Nagpur police for which he remained in judicial custody for nine days and then by VP Road Police and then by Mumbai BKC Cyber ​​Police.
“Up to three FIRs have been submitted for tweets. He was arrested sequentially by all three FIRs for sending a chilling message by keeping him in custody for three weeks,” Jethmalani said. Maharashtra lawyer Rahul Chitnis said Thakkar’s custody questioning was complete and that the police would not seek a new remand.
The bank told Jethmalani that the petitioner needed to move the Bombay HC to receive relief. Last week, a bank headed by Judge DY Chandrachud had harshly criticized the Maharashtra police for arresting TV host Goswami and ordered his release from jail. Goswami was arrested on November 4 and released on bail on November 11.

Times of India