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SIMI counsel challenges Govt's privileges

SIMI challenged on Thursday the privilege claimed by the Central Government over secret documents.
None | By United News of India, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JUL 27, 2006 09:35 PM IST

Trideep Pias, representing the Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) before the tribunal constituted to hear the ban imposed by the Central Government on the outfit, challenged on Thursday the privilege claimed by the Central Government over secret documents.

Responding to arguments concluded on Thursday by Siddharth Mridul, who represents the Central Government, Trideep said the secret documents couldn't have been intended to be part of the background note, a key material which had formed the basis of banning the outfit this year.

"Because if the Central Government had wanted to make the secret documents part of the background note, what had stopped them from doing it," he asked wondering over the disproportionate volume of secret documents submitted before the tribunal.

It may be mentioned here that the Central Government had claimed privilege of not disclosing to the party (SIMI) the secret documents, prepared on information from the intelligence agencies, on the grounds of public interest.

Trideep quoted from the background note to drive home his point, "the background note doesn't refer to secret material," and hence untenable.

Besides, he also said the secret documents, background note, the witnesses are all alien to each other and have many missing links which the prosecution has tried to fill with by bringing in vague allegations of 'intention and motivation'.

Central Government counsel Siddharth Mridul had earlier argued that motivation and intention were crucial as they could even make a peaceful act unlawful.

Trideep also argued that the SIMI had against it only one case since 29 September 2003 (when the second ban ended) and 8 February 2006 (when the third ban was imposed).

Even that case raises more questions than answers, he argued, about the Central Government.

Siddharth Mridul said earlier before the tribunal that the outfit had not mended its ways since the first ban in 2001.

Thread of continuity of violence, anti-National activities by SIMI, ever since first ban, runs till now, warranting the fresh ban this year, he argued.

When Mridul refused to divulge identities of the SIMI members arrested or absconding across the country on grounds of public interest, SIMI counsel called it as a convenient excuse for 'bundle of lies'.

He couldn't have taken names of the alleged SIMI members because there had been none, he said.

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