Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)


- Utkarsh Anand letters@hindustant­imes.com

NEW DELHI: The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday refuted a contention in the Supreme Court that journalist Siddique Kappan, who has been jailed under the terror charges, was chained to a hospital bed in Mathura where he was being treated for Covid-19.

“He isn’t chained...there are no chains in the hospital,” claimed solicitor general Tushar Mehta, appearing for the state government before a bench led by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana.

The law officer was responding to a claim by the Kerala Union of Working Journalist­s (KUWJ) that Kappan was chained to a hospital bed in Mathura’s KM Medical College after he collapsed in a bathroom at the Mathura jail and later tested positive for COVID-19.

Kappan, secretary of the Delhi unit of KUWJ, was arrested on October 5 last year while on his way to Hathras in UP after the alleged gangrape of a 19-year-old woman who died in hospital of injuries she suffered in the sexual assault. KUWJ subsequent­ly filed a petition in the apex court, calling Kappan’s arrest illegal and an attempt to silence the media.

On April 25, Kappan’s wife wrote to the CJI complainin­g that the scribe was “chained like an animal” to a hospital bed in Mathura and sought his release from the hospital.

On Tuesday, advocate Wills Mathew, representi­ng KUWJ, sought transfer of Kappan from

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