Why SC’s ‘Bail is the Rule, Jail is the exception’ not followed: Chidambaram

He questions continued incarceration of stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui and Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan

Former Union Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday questioned the continued incarceration of stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui and Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan and courts’ refusal to grant them bail.

In a series of tweets, the senior Congress leader, who is also a Senior Advocate, asked why the Supreme Court’s principle of “Bail is the Rule, Jail is the exception” is not followed.

“Despite the judgement of the Constitution Bench [Justice Ravindra Bhat] and another Bench [Justice Chandrachud], why is the principle of ‘Bail is the Rule and Jail is the Exception’ not being applied in every case? Why are the courts denying bail to journalist Siddique Kappan and comedian Munawar Faruqui?,” he said.

“Equality means equal access to justice and equal application of legal principles,” he added.

While Mr. Faruqui, along with four others, was arrested by the Madhya Pradesh police from a cafe at Indore for allegedly hurting religious sentiments on January 1, Mr. Kappan was picked up by Uttar Pradesh police last October from Mathura when he was on his way to Hathras, where a 19-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly gangraped and died later.

Mr. Faruqui’s bail plea has been rejected by a Session Court in Indore and now awaits a hearing in the High Court. In the case of Mr. Kappan, though the case has been heard by the Supreme Court last month, he is yet to get relief. The government has slapped serious charges against him under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

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