Allahabad HC grants bail to Siddique Kappan in PMLA case

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Kappan was arrested by the UP Police while he was en route to Hathras in 2020. Allegedly, with the aid of now banned outfit PFI, Kappan intended to incite riots at Hathras.

The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on Friday granted bail to Siddique Kappan in the case registered against him under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Kappan had moved the high court against the decision of the Lucknow District Judge on October 31, 2022 denying him bail in the matter. 

Kappan, who was detained by Uttar Pradesh Police on October 5, 2020 in connection with the Hathras conspiracy case, was initially booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) along with other sedition laws and later under the PMLA.

The Supreme Court on September 9, 2022  allowed him to be released on bail in the UAPA case. However, due to the PMLA case against him, he remained in jail. 

The allegations against Kappan are that he sought to incite riots on way to the Hathras gangrape site under the garb of journalism. Allegedly he had close links with the banned outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) which wanted to disturb the local harmony. 

During the investigation, it was also found that allegedly Kappan received Rs. 45,000 in his account in September – October 2020 deposited by PFI members in furtherance of the conspiracy to carry out terrorist acts at Hathras.

Also, when the high court had denied bail to Kappan in the UAPA case, the court had observed that the use of tainted money by Kappan and his colleagues could not be ruled out. 

However, in the PMLA case also, now Kappan has been granted bail. The bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh allowed/partly allowed on merits Kappan's bail plea. 

Case Title: Sidhique Kappan Vs. Directorate Of Enforcement Thru. Assistant Director Lucknow