The Allahabad High Court granted bail to Kerala-based journalist Siddique Kappan on Friday in a money laundering case. Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh of the Lucknow bench of the high court passed the order on Kappan's bail application.
His lawyer Mohamed Dhanish KS said the grant of bail has paved the way for his release from jail after the completion of formalities. Kappan, currently lodged in the Lucknow district jail, was arrested two years back while he was on his way to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh, where a Dalit woman had died after allegedly being raped.
He and three others were accused of having links with the Popular Front of India and being a part of a conspiracy to instigate violence. In September, the Supreme Court granted him bail in connection with that case. But he continued to be in jail because of the money laundering case filed by the Enforcement Directorate.
His lawyer told PTI, "For the first case, the Supreme Court had granted him bail on September 9. But sureties verification is not done even after three months. So that's the main issue for walking out (of jail). And regarding today's verdict, we have to go through the order. It is still not uploaded."
Kappan, Athikur Rehman, Alam and Masood were arrested by the police in Mathura in 2020 while on their way to Hathras. He was booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Information Technology (IT) Act by the police.
The apex court had earlier taken note of the submissions of the Uttar Pradesh government and laid down several conditions for bail, including that he will have to remain in Delhi for the next six weeks after release from the prison and report to Nizamuddin police station in the national capital on Monday every week.
Opposition parties and journalist bodies had welcomed the Supreme Court order granting bail to Kappan. They claimed Kappan was made a "soft target" by the Uttar Pradesh government and hoped he would also be granted bail in another case filed against him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The Dalit woman had died at a Delhi hospital a fortnight after she was allegedly gang-raped on September 14, 2020 in Hathras. She was cremated in the middle of the night in her village.
I am happy, a ray of justice belatedly: Siddique Kappan's wife
"A ray of justice belatedly, I am happy with it," Siddique Kappan's wife Raihana Siddique said on Friday after the Allahabad High Court granted bail to the Kerala journalist in a money laundering case.