The state home department wants the right-wing Hindu outfits Sanatan Sanstha, Hindu Janjagruti Samiti and Dharna Shakti Sena declared as terrorist organisations under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
An affidavit filed by the anti-terrorism squad (ATS) in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) has stated that only the Central government has the authority to declare any organisation as unlawful under section 3 of the UAPA.
The Centre can independently investigate and assess whether the outfits should be declared terrorist organisations, the affidavit states.
The affidavit has annexed a copy of a proposal marked as “secret” sent by the additional chief secretary of the home department to the Director (NIC) of Ministry of Home Affairs in April 2011, noting that three bomb blast cases have been registered against Sanstha activists.
The home department reportedly stated in the letter that the outfit’s activists have been influenced by the writings of the Sanatan Prabhat, one of the Sanstha’s publications.According to the proposal, the government has concluded that the organisation should be banned along with its sister concerns.
It has requested the Centre to declare the outfits unlawful, and include them in the list of terrorist organisations under the UAPA.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by Vijay Rokade seeking the declaration of the outfit as a terrorist organisation.
A division bench of justice DD Sinha and justice VK Tahilramani on Friday enquired about the Sanstha’s agenda.
The Sanstha’s counsel submitted its purpose was to promote the Hindu religion.
Justice Sinha also enquired about what provisions allowed an organisation to be banned. Sanstha’s counsel, and the petitioner’s lawyer JD Khairnar, said the organisation could be banned only under the UAPA.
The court directed the Sanstha to file a reply to the ATS affidavit within two weeks.