The Delhi high court on Thursday dismissed a plea by Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) challenging the Centre’s decision to immediately ban the organisation under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said the government has sufficient material to immediately ban IRF. The judge added that immediate action appears to have been taken in “interest of sovereignty, integrity and maintenance of public order”.
On November 17, 2016, the Union home ministry imposed an immediate ban on the organisation under UAPA.
Additional solicitor general (ASG) Sanjay Jain, appearing for the Centre, produced before the court the relevant documents based on which the decision to ban IRF was made.
Jain had said the need for taking “urgent step” to ban IRF was felt in view of the apprehension that Indian youth could be “radicalised” or “motivated” to join terror groups like Islamic State by the alleged statements and speeches made by organisation and its members, including its President, Naik.
The government did not want to wait for some “catastrophic” incident to happen before taking a decision, the ASG had argued. He said that as per the notification, Naik was also accused of making statements which were “derogatory of other religions” and thus, “spreading communal disharmony”.
ASG Jain said that Mumbai Police had already lodged an FIR against six others of IRF on a complaint by the father of a Kerala-based youth who joined ISIS. He 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”.
According to IRF, the ban order 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.
IRF contended that dates or content of the alleged speeches and statements have not been mentioned in the notification. It had said that it was limiting its plea to the immediate ban and not raising the issue of freezing of its accounts under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act.