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The bail application of journalist Siddique Kappan was rejected by the Allahabad High Court earlier this month. He was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police and charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Now, he has approached the Supreme Court seeking bail in the case. Kappan’s plea, filed through his counsel Advocate Harris Beeran, was mentioned before a bench presided over by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana, who directed that it be listed before an appropriate bench on August 26.

In his petition, Kappan has challenged the Allahabad High Court’s order from August 2, which dismissed his bail application. The plea stated that the rejection of the application has led to Kappan, a journalist with 12 years of experience, being imprisoned. He has spent almost two years behind bars on what he claims are trumped-up charges related to his reporting on the Hathras rape/murder case. The High Court decision was criticized for disregarding established principles regarding bail and for mechanically dismissing the plea without providing sufficient reasons.

Kappan and three others, including the driver of the vehicle they were traveling in, were arrested in Mathura on October 5, 2020, on their way to Hathras. They were booked under UAPA and other charges. While Kappan stated that he was going to Hathras to report on the incident, the UP Police accused them of having links with a banned organization and attempting to create unrest.

Recently, the Allahabad High Court granted bail to Mohammad Alam, the driver of the vehicle arrested with Kappan. The court differentiated Alam’s case from Kappan’s, noting that incriminating material was allegedly found in Kappan’s possession, such as a laptop and a mobile phone with articles and video clips. No such incriminating material was found in Alam’s possession.

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