Journalist Siddique Kappan denied medical care, alleges contempt plea by Kerala journalists’ association in Supreme Court

Kerala journalists’ union filed a contempt plea in the Supreme Court on Wednesday, alleging that Uttar Pradesh government officials moved journalist Siddique Kappan out of a hospital on May 6 even though he was unwell, Live Law reported.

The Kerala Union Of Working Journalists told the top court that the move was a violation of an order passed by the court.

“The accused is still in need of the medical assistance, which was denied to him, and delay in treatment will result in irreparable injury,” the Journalists association said in its plea, as per reports from The Print. The group also added Kappan was in severe pain.

According to the portal, the petition further read, “The act of discharging Mr Sidhique Kappan at midnight on 06.05.2021, even depriving him of his sleep amounted to contempt of court.”

The Kerala journalists’ association union sought action against the senior superintendent of Mathura jail, UP’s police chief and top government officials, The Print reported.

A journalist from Kerala, Siddique Kaplan was arrested in October 2020 while he was on his way to Hathras in UP to report on the gang rape case. Last year September, four upper-caste Thakur men had tortured and raped a Dalit woman in the district.

The UP police alleged that Kappan was going to Hathras to unfurl a conspiracy to trouble the create law and order and foment caste riots. He was charged with sedition and also booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

In April, Kappan had tested positive for Covid-19 and reportedly has several comorbid conditions.

In April, the Top Court had directed the UP government to shift him to a hospital in Delhi for treatment. According to Live Law, the court had also said that Kappan should not be discharged till he recovers.

In its plea, the Kerala Union Of Working Journalists said that despite the court order, Kappan was moved out of the hospital on May 6 midnight while he was still being treated for Covid-19.

Kappan’s continued imprisonment has triggered massive outrage. Members of various journalist associations on Tuesday held protests outside the Press Club of India in the national capital. They demanded the journalist’s immediate release, PTI reported.

In April, the Editors Guild of India had said that the treatment meted out to Siddique Kappan should stir the country’s conscience.

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