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"Use of tainted money can't be ruled out", says Allahabad HC while dismissing journalist Siddique Kappan's bail plea

ANI | Updated: Aug 04, 2022 16:49 IST

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], August 4 (ANI): The Allahabad High Court has dismissed the bail plea of Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan and said the tainted money being used by the applicant/accused and his colleagues cannot be ruled out.
Siddique Kappan is currently lodged in a jail in Uttar Pradesh. He along with three others arrested in October 2020 on way to Hathras by UP Police under various sections of IPC, UAP Act and I.T. Act.
The Bench of Krishnan Pahal in an order passed on August 2, 2022, said, "Considering the facts and circumstances of the case, nature of the offence, evidence on record, considering the complicity of accused, the severity of punishment and the settled law propounded by the Apex Court, at this stage, without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, this Court is not inclined to release the applicant on bail."
"The bail application is found devoid of merits and is accordingly, dismissed. A perusal of the charge sheet and documents adduced, prima facie reveals that the applicant has committed the offence," the court said.
Court noted that according to the prosecution, it has come up in the investigation that the applicant had no work at Hathras. The state machinery was at tenterhooks owing to the

tension prevailing due to various types of information being viral across all forums of media including the internet. The said sojourn of the applicant with co-accused persons who do not belong to the media fraternity is a crucial circumstance going against him.
Court also noted the defence taken by the applicant that he is a journalist and only owing to his professional duty, he wanted to visit the place of Hathras incident stands nullified by the averments in the charge-sheet and the persons, he was arrested with, while travelling in a car. The tainted money being used by the applicant and his colleagues cannot be ruled out.
The legislature has framed the UAPA Act to control such instances. The courts interpret the laws enacted by the legislature which becomes "functus officio" after the framing of the statute, the court noted.
Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan alongwith three co-accused persons, namely, Athikurrehman, Alam and Masood, were arrested on October 5, 2020, by Uttar Pradesh Police. According to the police six smartphones, one laptop and pamphlets were recovered from them.
The prosecution alleged that after an inquiry, it came out that the applicant and other co-accused persons were travelling allegedly to disturb the harmony of the area. It was alleged in the FIR. that the applicant and other co-accused persons were heading to Hathras where the ill-fated incident of rape and murder had been committed with an intention to create caste struggle and incite riots.
According to the police, the said persons are said to have been collecting funds and running a website 'Carrd.com'. it was also revealed that the said collected funds were used to break the social harmony and incite violence. The pamphlets read as 'AM I NOT INDIA'S DAUGHTER MADE WITH Card etc.
It was also found that the incident of mob lynching, exodus of labourers and the Kashmir issues were also highlighted through the same website. The website also imparts training pertaining to concealing one's identity during demonstrations and ways to incite violence. The website was found to be full of misinformation thereby distorting true facts. There was another website operated by the laptop which had the heading'Justice For Hathras'. (ANI)