The Bombay high court on Tuesday directed the state government to clear its stand on imposing a ban on Pune-based public charitable trust, Abhinav Bharat, some of whose members have been charged in connection with a bomb blast at Malegaon in September 2008.
The division bench of justice DD Sinha and justice VK Tahilramani, which was hearing a petition filed by a Mumbai-based trust by the same name —Abhinav Bharat, has given the state two weeks’ time to file an affidavit clearing its stand.
The Mumbai trust approached the court seeking de-registration of the Pune-based trust, which purportedly sought to convert secular India into a radical Hindu nation.
Pankaj Phadnis, a trustee of the Mumbai body, said that the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) has recommended imposing a ban on the Pune trust and including it in the list of terrorist organisations.
The petition says the Mumbai trust was registered in January 2002 while the Pune-based trust was registered in February 2007. The office of the charity commissioner should have enquired if any trust bearing the same name existed, and should not have allowed the second trust to be registered with the same name, the petition states.
The petition stated that the use of the name by a trust being probed by the ATS and the National Investigation Agency was maligning the image and the reputation of the petitioner trust.