Clerk detained en route to Hathras: ‘shocking findings’ have emerged during investigation, UP government tells apex court
The government of Uttar Pradesh told SuPreme Court on Wednesday that “shocking findings” have emerged during investigations into the arrest of Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan near Hathras on 5 October and his alleged links to the radical Muslim organization Popular Front of India (PFI).
Seeking time to present a response to the affidavit submitted on behalf of Kappan by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ), Attorney General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the UP government, said: “The accused is not in court . How can an association challenge a habeas corpus petition on your behalf? He (Kappan) claims to be a journalist for a newspaper called Thejus that closed three years ago. The investigation carried out against him so far is shocking. “
A bench of three judges headed by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India (CJI) SA Bobde told lead attorney Kapil Sibal that he was appearing for KUWJ approached the Allahabad High Court and requested any precedent where an association or union has filed habeas corpus on behalf of a defendant who is in jail for a criminal case. Sibal agreed to add Kappan’s wife as part of his request.
The court, which also includes Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, said: “Even if you implement (Kappan’s) wife, we will still ask you why you shouldn’t go to High Court.” Sibal gave the Supreme Court instance directly interfering in the arrest of journalist Arnab Goswami and cited this as a precedent for the Court to intervene in regard to individual liberty.
But the bank brushed it aside saying: “The facts of each case are different.”
The court published the matter for hearing next week, allowing the state to respond to KUWJ’s response and the journalists’ union to join Kappan’s wife in the proceedings.