New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India adjourned the hearing in Siddique Kappan Case until next week, after the petitioner sought to implead the journalist's wife and daughter in the case.
The court allowed the suggestion of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) after the court raised a technical issue in allowing an organization to be party in a habeas corpus petition.
During the hearing, Chief Justice SA Bobde tried to transfer the case to the Allahabad High Court which faced strong opposition from Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal who was appearing for the journalists' union. Sibal cited the recent order of the apex court in the case of journalist Arnab Goswami's bail petition.
Sibal, citing that the entire allegations in the FIR are fictitious, argued that the matter deserved the exercise of the extraordinary jurisdiction by the top court as it involved "grave violations".
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the State of Uttar Pradesh, objected to the allegations. He informed the bench that a lawyer has met Kappan to obtain his signature in the vakalatnama and so the journalist should pursue the ordinary legal course of bail like the co-accused in the case.
Sibal submitted that there are exceptional circumstances in the case and that the UP Government has mentioned non-existent phone numbers in its affidavit to claim that Kappan's relatives were informed about his arrest.
Siddique Kappan, a freelance journalist, was arrested by the UP police on 5 October along with three others on their way to Hathras in the wake of rape, murder and cremation by police. The police registered an FIR alleging that the accused journalist hatched a conspiracy to create societal unrest.