This article is written by Abhishree Paradkar, a student of Symbiosis Law School, Pune
A local court situated in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh had rejected the application that was made by the Uttar Pradesh Police seeking permission for conducting further probe against Siddique Kappan who is a Kerala-based journalist and has been booked under many offenses linked with the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
UP police made a demand for conducting a further investigation against the journalist which was dismissed by ASJ Anil Kumar Pandey.
Siddique Kappan was represented by Advocate Wills Matthew, and the STF was represented by Advocate Surya Vir Singh.
The accused, which included Siddique Kappan, had been arrested by the Maan police under the charges mentioned ahead when they were going to Hathras.
Initially, their arrest was made under the apprehension that they were causing a breach of peace and when they were produced before the sub-divisional Magistrate Court, they were sent to judicial custody.
They were then arrested under the UAPA, allegedly for attempting to stir communal disturbances and disrupt communal harmony in the aftermath of the Hathras gang rape/murder case.
On April 2021, 8 people which included the accused in the present case, were charged-sheeted by the Special Task Force of the Uttar Pradesh Police for sedition, funding of terror activities, criminal conspiracy, and other offenses.
The court had been hearing the case related to the breach of peace when the accused was in judicial custody and issued a notice under Section 111 of CrPC which relates to an order that is given by a magistrate against a person who is likely to commit a breach of peace.
Later, they received a notification in jail asking why they should not be required to post a personal bond of Rupees one lakh apiece, along with sureties from guarantors.
The accused denied any charges against him and as the police could not produce any evidence in the prescribed period of six months, the accused was discharged by the court on technical grounds.
The advocate who is appearing on behalf of Kappan submitted that the investigation in the present case had been completed and a charge sheet had also been filed on 3rd April 2021 and the same was also provided to him.
The advocate also submitted that the position of the UP police for demanding further investigation was not in letter and spirit of the Code of Criminal Procedure and it also amounted to a violation of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed to the accused under the Constitution of India and therefore, the same is liable to be dismissed with heavy costs.
He also added that the accused was willing to go through a Lie Detector Test or a Narco Analysis Test or a Brain Mapping Test to show his innocence. Furthermore, the accused has also been refused any medical treatment despite the Supreme Court providing specific directions for his release from the illegal detention.
Following this information, the court decided to ask for a report from the jail authorities on 23rd August 2021.
Furthermore, a bail application was filed to provide default bail as given under Section 167 (2) of the CrPC and the court sought to undertake the responsibilities of the police in this regard.
It was also highlighted that after Saddique Kappan’s bail was rejected, an application was filed before the court of Mathura on 21st July to seek a copy of the charge sheet for the very reason of filing another bail application and initiating the further legal proceedings. However, the same was not considered so far. This application is also scheduled to be considered on 23rd August 2021.