New Delhi: The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday refused to entertain a plea that challenges the Centre’s decision of banning the Popular Front of India (PFI) for a period of 5 years with “immediate effects”.
A single bench of Justice M Nagaprassana was hearing a petition filed by the wife of PFI actvist Nasir Pasha on his behalf as the latter is in judicial custody currently.
Reffering to the Section (3) under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, the petitioner contended that it is required to provide a seperate and distinct reason before imposing any ban with immediate effect, however, it did not happen.
The petitioners also said that the Popular Front of India had registered itself under the Karnataka Societies Registration Act in the year 2007-08. It was submitted that the outfit was working for the welfare of the downtrodden section of the society all these years.
The plea stated that the Union government’s order has curbed the fundamental rights of miniorties. It said, “The organisation which was existing in several states, followed and benefited by several persons, declaring the unlawful association with immediate effect that to without specifying any reasons is arbitrary and illegal.”
The petitioner further said that such orders gives power to the law authorities to “falsely” implicate someone due to his affiliation to such groups without the tribunal confirming the crime.
PFI ban in India
Earlier on September 28, the Indian government had announced a ban on Popular Front of India — a controversial Muslim outfit over allegations of having links with terror groups.
This triggered a series of arrests across the nation. As per the government’s order, all those groups having membership or affiliations with the PFI will fall into category of “unlawful associations.”
Government’s order came after a number of crackdowns took place across the nation. The headquaters of the PFI was raided at least twice during the process.
In its order to ban the outfit in question, the Union government mentioned that the PFI was being funded from outside while, also recieving ideological support from the same; which appeared to be a major threat on internal security of the nation.
It also stated that PFI had links with the banned Islamist groups – the Students Islamic Movement of India (Simi) and the Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) – as well as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
“The PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts operate openly as a socio-economic, educational and political organisation but, they have been pursuing a secret agenda to radicalise a particular section of the society working towards undermining the concept of democracy,” said the plea.
At least 250 PFI activists arrested during
As per several media reports, as many as 250 PFI activists were arrested during raids conducted on September 22 and September. All of these were taken into police custody for alleged links with terror outfits.
— All India Radio News (@airnewsalerts) September 28, 2022