A Sessions Court in Lucknow today signed orders to release Kerala Journalist Siddiqui Kappan on Bail. The Court accepted his bail bonds and he is likely to walk out of jail by tomorrow morning, reported Live Law.
In the release order signed by the Sessions Judge, Lucknow, the Superintendent, District Jail, Lucknow has been directed to release Kappan, if not wanted in any other case after obtaining a personal bond from him.
This development comes over one month after he was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court in connection with a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case.
It may be noted that he was arrested on his way to Hathras along with three others in Mathura on 5 October 2020, on charges of conspiracy to create disturbance in Hathras, where a Dalit girl was allegedly gang-raped and murdered. However, it is his case that being a journalist, he was going there to report on the case.
While initially he was arrested under the apprehension of causing a breach of peace, subsequently, he was booked under the UAPA alleging that he and his co-passengers were trying to incite communal violence and disrupt social harmony in the wake of the Hathras gangrape-murder case.
In September last year, the Supreme Court granted him bail in all other cases, however, he could not get out of jail due to the pendency of the PMLA case. In October 2022, the Lucknow sessions court rejected his bail plea in the PMLA case.
However, in December 2022, the Allahabad High Court granted him bail in the case as it noted that except for the allegations that ₹5K was transferred to the bank account of his co-accused (Atikur Rahman), there was no other transaction, either in the bank account of Kappan or in the Co-accused bank account.
“Even if it is believed that part of the proceeds of the crime was transferred to the bank account of the co-accused, Atikur Rahman that itself may not be sufficient to prove that the accused-applicant has dealt with the proceeds of crime amounting to Rs. 1,36,14,291/-which had been allegedly received by K.A. Rauf Sherif,” the bench added. (Live Law)