Journalist Siddique Kappan gets bail in ED case

LUCKNOW — The Allahabad High Court on Friday granted bail to Kerala-based journalist Siddique Kappan in connection with a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case against him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Live Law reported.

This order paves the way for his release, three months after the Supreme Court had granted him bail in all other cases registered against him on September 9.

Kappan had moved the High Court after a Lucknow court denied him bail.

A single-judge bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh granted him bail.

Earlier this month, a Lucknow court had framed charges against Kappan and six others in the PMLA case, after ED had filed the prosecution complaint (equivalent to chargesheet) against the accused in February last year. The other accused are KA Rauf Sherif, Atikur Rahman, Masud Ahmad, Mohammad Alam, Abdul Razzak and Ashraf Khadir.

The police have claimed that the accused are members of the banned organisation Popular Front of India (PFI) and its student wing — Campus Front of India (CFI).

Kappan was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police in October 2020 and charged under the anti-terror law, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), while he was on his way with three others to Hathras in the state following the death of a young Dalit woman who was allegedly gangraped.

While the police alleged that Kappan was part of a conspiracy to disrupt peace in the area, his lawyers claimed that he was going to report on the case involving woman The police recovered smart phones and laptops, claiming that the accused wanted to use them to disturb peace.