New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Thursday dismissed a plea by Zakir Naik-led Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) against the Centre’s decision to ban the organisation.
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva held that the ministry of home affairs (MHA) had sufficient material for the immediate ban and that immediate action appears to have been taken in the interest of sovereignty, integrity and maintenance of public order.
The foundation had moved the court in January saying that the Centre’s action was unwarranted under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967. It challenged a notification issued by the home ministry on 17 November 2016 that imposed an immediate five-year ban on the organisation under the provisions of the UAPA.
The organisation contended that there had been no show cause notice and that the government notification had failed to provide reasons for taking such a step.
Explaining the urgency for the ban, additional solicitor general Sanjay Jain had told the court that it was due to apprehensions that the youth were being radicalised or motivated by the alleged statements and speeches made by IRF members, including president Naik.
Jain added that an FIR was lodged by the Mumbai police against six IRF members on a complaint by the father of a Kerala-based youth who had joined ISIS, a case that he said illustrated the influence of the organization.
The matter is also being heard by a tribunal set up under UAPA.
IRF clarified that its plea was limited to lifting of the immediate ban and did not focus on the issue of freezing of its accounts under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 or FCRA.