Zakir Naik's IRF challenges Center's decision of immediate ban in Delhi HC

As stated by IRF, the notification gives no reason and cites no material for taking such a step as was required by the law laid down by the Supreme Court.

Indian Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation, on January 13, has challenged the Centre’s decision to immediately ban the organisation in Delhi High Court, claiming no reasons were given for taking such action under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

According to PTI, the IRF -in its plea- has challenged the November 17, 2016, notification of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) which had imposed an immediate ban on the organisation under UAPA.

Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva heard the arguments on behalf of the organisation and the Centre and asked the government to produce the relevant record on January 17 so that the court can see whether there was material for an urgent ban of IRF.

As stated by IRF, the notification gives no reason and cites no material for taking such a step as was required by the law laid down by the Supreme Court.

It said the immediate ban was imposed without giving them any show cause notice.

As per the Centre’s notification, read out in the court by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, the need for taking the “urgent step” was felt in view of the apprehension that Indian youths could be “radicalised” or “motivated” by the alleged statements and speeches made by IRF and its members, including its President, Naik, to join terror groups like ISIS, which is a cause of global concern.

Opposing the maintainability of the plea, the ASG said the government did not want to wait for some “catastrophic” incident to happen before taking a decision.

He argued the notification mentions that Naik was making statements which not only allegedly extolled Osama bin Laden but also promoted terrorism.

He also said that as per the notification, Naik was also accused of making statements which were “derogatory of other religions” and thus, “spreading communal disharmony”.

He said that Mumbai Police had already lodged a FIR against six others of IRF on a complaint by the father of a Kerala-based youth who joined ISIS.

ASG Jain further said that some terrorists and ISIS sympathisers arrested by the authorities have allegedly claimed, “they were inspired by the fundamental statements made by IRF”.

The ASG said the matter is now before the Tribunal, set up under the UAPA, which will take up the issue on February 6 on which date the organisation will be provided all the affidavits filed by the government.

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