A habeas corpus petition in the Supreme Court has filed by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) against the arrest of Kerala Journalist, Sidhique Kappan, by the UP Police while he was going on to cover the Hathras incident of rape and murder of a 19-year old Dalit woman. Expressing the arrest of Kerala journalist illegal and unconstitutional, the Union has filed the petition seeking his abrupt production before the SC also release from “illegal detention”.
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The ultimate test of democracy lies in the freedom of speech and expression. Media is the breath of democracy. Denial of access of the journalists to the place of news seriously connected with the dignified life of citizens for reporting is a gross violation of Article 14, 19(1) (a) and 21 of the Constitution.
The petitioner argued that the arrest is made in violation of the decision of the case D K Basu vs State of West Bengal, in which mandatory guidelines were laid down and also the arrest was made with the only intention of barricading the discharge of duty by a journalist.