New Delhi, January 22: Siddique Kappan, the Kerala journalist arrested in October while travelling from Delhi to report on the alleged gang-rape of a Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras, will be allowed to speak to his ailing mother via a video call, the Supreme Court said Friday.
The court was responding to a petition by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists, for whom senior advocate Kapil Sibal argued that Kappan’s mother was ill and had asked to speak to her son. Sibal said such communication was not allowed but asked the court to make an exception.
“We will allow (it),” Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said.
“I don’t mind the court dismissing it (the petition) but hear us. Kappan’s mother is unconscious… we filed (an) application. Before (his) mother passes away, allow video conferencing so that he can talk to her,” Sibal had earlier argued, NDTV reported.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the UP government, had asked the court to leave the decision on a video call with the journalist’s mother to him.
The court then adjourned the matter to next week after a request by Mehta.
Kappan and three others had been going to Hathras to report on the alleged gang-rape and the massive outrage it triggered. They were arrested following a tip about “suspicious people”.
In the FIR the police applied a section of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, which deals with “raising funds for a terrorist act”. Kappan has since been lodged at the jail in UP’s Mathura.
The union denied these allegations and said Kappan was tortured in jail.