On Wednesday (28 April), the Supreme Court ordered that Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan be transferred from Uttar Pradesh's Mathura Jail to a government hospital in Delhi for medical treatment. He can be admitted at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital or AIIMS, or any other government hospital in Delhi in the state. Kappan's RT-PCR test revealed a COVID negative result, and he was discharged from Mathura hospital and returned to prison, said an affidavit filed by the state of Uttar Pradesh this morning.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta representing the UP government was adamant in his opposition to Kappan's relocation to Delhi. SG said that providing a hospital bed to Kappan, a 42-year-old COVID negative person, while thousands of COVID positive people with comorbidities are having difficulty getting hospital admission was unjustified, reported Live Law. The bench also observed that the decision was based only on the humanitarian angle of his health.
On Tuesday, 27 April, the Supreme Court had directed the Uttar Pradesh government to hand over the medical records of Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan. A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice NV Ramana was hearing a letter from Kappan's wife requesting that he be transferred from Mathura Medical College to Mathura Jail immediately because his "life is in serious danger." Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta appeared for the state government, while Advocate Wills Mathew appeared for the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ).
Siddique Kappan's wife, Raihanth Kappan, said her husband was "chained like an animal" to a bed in the hospital after testing positive for the coronavirus on 23 April. He wasn't able to eat nor had access to use the restroom, she said. The Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) also filed a petition requesting that Kappan be transferred to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences or Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi due to a medical emergency.
On Sunday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote to his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Adityanath, seeking expert medical care and humane treatment for journalist Siddique Kappan. The Editors Guild of India had also released a statement condemning the inhuman treatment of the mentioned journalist.
While on his way to report on the Hathras Gang Rape, Kappan, a journalist from the Malayalam news portal Azhimukham, along with three others, was detained by the Uttar Pradesh government under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and charges of sedition. The police said Kappan and others were members of the Popular Front of India, a hardline Muslim group accused by authorities of having links to terrorist groups, but KUWJ refuted this assertion.