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SIMI a secessionist movement: SC

The apex court observes the banned Students' Islamic Movement of India continues to be involved in unlawful activities, reports Satya Prakash.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2007 23:11 IST

The Supreme Court on Thursday observed that the banned Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) was a secessionist movement which continued to be involved in unlawful activities.

"You continue to be a secessionist movement. You have not stopped your (unlawful) activities till now," a Bench of Justice SB Sinha and Justice Markandey Katju observed while hearing SIMI's petition challenging the confirmation of the ban by a Tribunal under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The tribunal headed by Justice BN Chaturvedi had on August 7, 2006 confirmed the February eight 2006 notification issued by the Centre imposing a ban on the organisation.

The court's observation came when SIMI's counsel Kamini Jaisawal contended that the Islamic outfit started in 1977 was not involved in any illegal activities and the ban was not justified.

However, the court said the ban can not be lifted "if your actions are the same and you don't give up your (unlawful) activities.You are a secessionist organisation. It is for the third time that you have been banned."

Jaisawal pointed out that the Supreme Court has not finally confirmed any of the ban orders and the appeals against the two other bans imposed by the Centre and confirmed by the Tribunal were also pending in the apex court.

Directing that the latest petition be posted for hearing along with the two other similar petitions filed earlier, the court adjourned the hearing.

The two earlier ban orders were notified by the Central Government on September 27, 2001 and September 27, 2003.

Claiming to be a peaceful organisation, SIMI has challenged the ban on the grounds that the Tribunals erroneously upheld the notifications and that it violated its fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression, right to assemble peacefully without arms, right to freedom of religion and right to life.

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First Published: Feb 15, 2007 22:30 IST