New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday said it will allow journalist Siddique Kappan, who was detained on October 5 while he was en route to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh, to talk to his ailing mother via video conferencing.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said it will allow the plea of Kappan to have chat with his mother through video conferencing after senior advocate Kapil Sibal said an application has been filed in this connection.
Sibal, appearing for the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) told the Bench that Kappan’s mother wants to have a video conferencing with the journalist, who is lodged in Uttar Pradesh jail.
Sibal said the mother of Kappan was mostly unconscious and wants to see her son whenever she regains consciousness. “Please allow her to talk to him through video conferencing so that she can see her son while she lives. We have filed an application. Court says it can be allowed subject to jail rules but jail rules do not allow video conferencing. Please allow us,” Sibal submitted.
The Bench said it will allow the request. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Uttar Pradesh asked court to leave it to him.
The Bench then adjourned the matter to next week on a request by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.
The Supreme Court was hearing a plea filed by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) for the release of its secretary and journalist Siddique Kappan, who was detained along with some others on October 5 while on their way to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh, where a Dalit girl was allegedly gang-raped by four men.
Earlier, the Bench had sought response on the plea from the Centre, the Uttar Pradesh government and its police chief.
An FIR had been registered under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in the case. Kappan is lodged in the Mathura jail, court was informed earlier.
The KUWJ had approached the Supreme Court on a habeas corpus plea to know the whereabouts of Kappan. Earlier the court refused to intervene while advising the union to move the Allahabad High Court instead.
KUWJ has sought the fulfillment of Kappan’s basic rights such as legal help and access to family.
The police had said it has arrested four people having links with the PFI in Mathura and identified the arrested persons as Siddique from Malappuram, Atiq-ur Rehman from Muzaffarnagar, Masood Ahmed from Bahraich and Alam from Rampur.
The affidavit said STF has been conducting a detailed probe and have been filing progress reports before the state government from which it has been revealed that further incriminating evidence has been found against all the four accused including Kappan.