New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to shift the jailed journalist Siddique Kappan from Mathura to New Delhi for better treatment. The apex court suggested shifting him to either AIIMS or RML hospital in Delhi. If neither hospital had the required facilities, he should be moved to another suitable hospital.
The bench comprising Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justices Surya Kant and AS Bopanna issued an order to this effect, dismissing the UP government's objections raised by attorneyTushar Mehta. The bench was hearing a habeas petition filed by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists seeking Kappan's release.
However, the court after considering all relevant factors disposed of the habeas corpus petition. Regarding the petition of the KUWJ, the bench said that after getting well and obtaining bail, he could approach the trial court.
The bench had asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to respond to the bench by 1 pm on Wednesday, after taking instructions from the UP government.
Despite vehement opposition from Tushar Mehta, SC went ahead with the decision to shift Kappan, saying that it was the responsibility of the state to protect him while he was under its custody.
Siddique Kappan, an independent Kerala-based Journalist was arrested by UP Police while on his way to Hathras on October 3, to cover the alleged gang rape and murder of a 13-year-old Dalit girl and was subsequently booked under the UAPA and charges of sedition.
The SC bench also directed that after Kappan got well with the treatment, the state government could shift him back to Mathura jail. The court had examined his medical report also considering the facts therein about the conditions Kappan suffered from regarding diabetes and heart problems.