Siddique Kappan | Screengrab: Mathrubhumi News
Lucknow: A court here rejected the bail plea of Kerala-based journalist Siddique Kappan in a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case on Monday.
The court had reserved its order in the matter on October 12.
Passing the order, Special Judge of Enforcement Directorate (ED) matters Sanjay Shankar Pandey observed that the offence was serious in nature and hence, Kappan was not entitled to bail at this stage.
The ED had booked Kappan in the PMLA case for allegedly obtaining money from a foreign country illegally and utilising it in acts against the interest of the nation.
Kappan was arrested along with three others on October 6, 2020 while they were on their way to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh to report on the alleged gangrape and killing of a 19-year-old woman. He has been in jail since then.
Police had initially booked the journalist for offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Subsequently, the ED also lodged a case against him under the anti-money laundering law.
The federal agency submitted in the court that Kappan worked for the Tejas daily and was an active member of the now-banned Popular Front of India (PFI). It is alleged that he was asked to incite riots in Delhi in 2015.
It was revealed during the probe that an amount of Rs 1.38 crore was given to PFI members to disturb the communal harmony in the country after the Hathras case.
Kappan allegedly helped the PFI members to convert this black money into white.
The journalist had earlier obtained bail in the UAPA case from the Supreme Court.