New Delhi: Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) on Friday moved the Delhi high court against the Centre’s decision to ban the organisation, saying that such an action was unwarranted under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967.

Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva, before whom the matter was brought, asked the Centre to produce relevant records to explain the urgency behind the ban by the next hearing on 17 January.

IRF has 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 behind the steps to the court, additional solicitor general Sanjay Jain said it was due to apprehensions that youth were being radicalised or motivated by the alleged statements and speeches made by IRF members, including president Naik.

Jain told the court 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.

Jain said the matter was also being heard by a tribunal set up under UAPA. The tribunal will hear the case on 6 February, he said.

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 (FCRA).

The matter will be heard next on 17 January.

With inputs from PTI

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