Reported By: Ananya Bhatnagar
Edited By: Oindrila Mukherjee
Last Updated: March 21, 2023, 19:12 IST
The MHA had invoked the UAPA to effect the ban on the PFI. (Representational image: PTI/File)
The tribunal also dismissed allegations by the PFI that the Centre was targeting a particular community by imposing such a ban
The tribunal of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act on Wednesday upheld the central government’s ban on the Popular Front of India and its affiliates, and said the organisation’s members were involved in “anti-India” activities. It dismissed the PFI’s allegations that the Centre was targeting a particular community.
Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma of the Delhi High Court, who is presiding over the UAPA tribunal, pronounced the order. The tribunal further stated that PFI members were involved in “secessionist activities contrary to the social fabric of India”.
It said the members were also involved in unlawful activities against the idea of India. To present its case, the Centre had examined and presented 100 witnesses and also shown two videos justifying the activities of the organisation and its members.
In October last year, the government set up a tribunal comprising Justice Sharma to adjudicate if sufficient grounds were available for declaring the PFI and its eight associate groups unlawful.
Invoking the UAPA to effect the ban, the ministry of home affairs had said the PFI and its affiliates were linked to terror groups like the ISIS, propagated “anti-national sentiments… radicalise a particular section of society with the intention to create disaffection” and constitute a “major threat to internal security of the country”.
Saying it was “necessary to curb the nefarious activities” of the organisation, the MHA declared the PFI an “unlawful association” along with its associates or affiliates or fronts, including Rehab India Foundation (RIF), Campus Front of India (CFI), All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation (NCHRO), National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala.
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