Formalities remain, journalist Kappan still not out on bail

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Lucknow, Jan 31 (PTI) Sureties that would have allowed the release on bail of Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan two years after he was arrested could not be submitted Tuesday in the PMLA court here due to the absence of the judge, his lawyer said.

Lawyer Mohamed Dhanish K S said he will now try to complete the formalities on Wednesday.

Kappan and three others were arrested in October 2020 while they were on their way to Hathras where a Dalit woman had died allegedly after being raped.

The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court here has to verify the two sureties of Rs 1 lakh each he was asked to provide before he is released on bail.

Dhanish told PTI that they could not submit the sureties Tuesday as the judge was not present at the PMLA court due to the annual elections of the Oudh Bar Association. "The registrar’s office did not accept the submission of sureties due to absence of the judge," he said.

Kappan and the other three were accused of trying to instigate violence over the death of the Hathras woman, which had triggered outrage.

Police said Kappan had links with the now banned Popular Front of India (PFI), and charged him under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and sections of the Indian Penal Code.

Last September, the Supreme Court granted him bail in connection with that case. But he continued to be in jail because of the money laundering case filed by the Enforcement Directorate.

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court granted him bail in that second case on December 23.

Kappan is currently lodged in the Lucknow district jail. PTI NAV SNS SNS ASH ASH

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