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Bombay HC refuses any relief to Zakir Naik

Naik landed in trouble when reports emerged that terrorists who attacked Holey Artis Bakery in Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing 20 foreign nationals on July 1, 2016, were his followers.

mumbai Updated: Apr 10, 2018 16:07 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari
Kanchan Chaudhari
Hindustan Times
Bombay HC,high court,Zakir Naik
The Bombay high court on Monday refused to grant any relief to Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.(HT File)

The Bombay high court on Monday refused to grant any relief to Islamic preacher Zakir Naik saying no relief can be granted to a proclaimed offender absconding from India.

“A person cannot seek all these prayers in absentia.Why should we grant relief to a person who is absconding from India and who is declared an offender?,” said the division bench of Justice RM Savant and Justice Sarang Kotwal referring to Naik’s plea for restoration of his passport.

“If a person surrenders to the law of the land and then approaches this court, his case can definitely be considered,” it said. The comments came after advocate Hitendra Venegaonkar, representing the Centre objected that relief cannot be granted to Naik as he has not cooperated with the investigating agencies.

Naik landed in trouble when reports emerged that terrorists who attacked Holey Artis Bakery in Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing 20 foreign nationals on July 1, 2016, were his followers. Naik has claimed that this news was made up. “There is no charge levelled against him in Bangladesh, but in his own country, he is branded a terrorist,” his lawyer said. In his petition, the 51-year-old claimed that he never incited communal disharmony and “his lectures are doctored.”

The court, which was about to dismiss Naik’s plea challenging the cancellation of his passport for failing to appear before National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Enforcement Directorate (ED), adjourned the petition by two weeks on his lawyer’s request.

The Ministry of Home Affairs banned Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation and the Peace TV. NIA booked him under sections 153A of the IPC and sections 10, 13 and 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

First Published: Apr 10, 2018 10:03 IST