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HC grants bail to Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan | India News

LUCKNOW: The Lucknow bench of Allahabad high court on Friday granted bail to Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case filed against him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). He will now walk free from jail after 26 months once bail formalities are completed, his lawyer said.
Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh granted the bail on Kappan’s plea which he filed after the Lucknow sessions court rejected his bail petition on October 31. The Lucknow district judge on December 8 framed charges against Kappan and six others under Sections 3 (offence of money laundering) and 4 (punishment for money laundering) of the PMLA.
Kappan was arrested along with three others near Mathura in October 2020 when they were on their way to Hathras to report a gangrape and murder of a 19-year-old dalit girl. All of them were then booked under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Three more persons were arrested by the police for allegedly extending help to them.
The ED entered the probe against the seven after UP Police in its chargesheet accused them of money-laundering and illegal funding from abroad. The ED then filed a case against them under the PMLA.
On September 9, 2022, the Supreme Court granted bail to Kappan in the case filed against him by the UP Police under the UAPA. But he was not released as the ED case against him under the PMLA was still pending. Now he has been granted bail in the PMLA case as well.
According to Kappan’s lawyer, Mohammad Dhanish KS, this was the only case in which Kappan was awaiting bail. Now, he will be released from Lucknow jail after bail conditions are fulfilled in both UAPA and PMLA cases. “Surety verification in UAPA case is still pending,” Dhanish KS told TOI.
Alam, the driver who was taking Kappan and others to Hathras, has already been granted bail. But, he, too, is still in jail pending verification of sureties, he said, adding that the bail order passed on Friday was only about Kappan. Others will have to seek their bail separately.

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