Kerala-based journalist Siddique Kappan Thursday walked out of jail after having spent over two years in incarceration. A Lucknow Sessions Court signed the bail order after accepting his bail bonds.In October 2020, he along with three others was arrested on charges of conspiracy to create disturbance during the critical time of the Hathras gang-rape case. Though Kappan maintained that being a journalist his sole motive was to merely cover the incident, he was booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of 1967 upon allegations of attempt to incite communal riots and disturb public tranquility.In September 2022, the Indian Supreme Court granted him bail in all other cases. Yet, he remained imprisoned because of the pendency of a case lodged against him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act of 2002.In October 2022, the Lucknow Sessions Court rejected his plea for bail in the PMLA case (Sidhique Kappan vs. Directorate Of Enforcement Thru. Assistant Director Lucknow). However, in December 2022, the Allahabad High Court approved his bail, noting:Except for allegations that Rs. 5,000/- was transferred in the bank account of co-accused, Atikur Rahman, there is no other transaction, either in the bank account of the accused-applicant or in the bank account of co-accused. Even if it is believed that part of proceeds of crime was transferred in the bank account of co-accused, Atikur Rahman that itself may not be sufficient to prove that the accused-applicant has dealt with the proceeds of crime amounting to Rs. 1,36,14,291/-which had been allegedly received by K.A. Rauf Sherif.
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