File photo by reporter Siddique Kappan. | Photo: PTI
The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on 23 December 2022 granted bail to Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan in connection with a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The jailed journalist has moved the High Court after the Lucknow sessions court on October 31 denied him bail in the PMLA case, which resulted in the journalist remaining in jail even though the Supreme Court (SC) had granted him bail in the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) case in September 2022.
The high court’s bail means Mr Kappan will walk free more than 26 months after he was arrested in October 2020 while on his way to Hathras, where a Dalit woman died after allegedly being raped. Mr. Kappan was booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Information Technology (IT) Act besides the PMLA by law enforcement agencies.
On September 9, the Supreme Court granted bail to Mr. Kappan in the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) case, stating that “every citizen has the right to free speech.”
Originally from Kerala, Mr. Kappan worked as a reporter for the Malayalam news website Azhimukham and also held the post of secretary in the Delhi Unit of the Kerala Union of Colleagues of Journalists (KUWJ).