The tribunal hearing evidence against the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) will travel across the country to examine evidence against the banned organisation.
Delhi High Court Judge V.K. Shali will travel to Kerala in May first week, he said at a sitting of the tribunal on Monday
SIMI was declared an unlawful group on February 3, 2012, under Section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1963. The government claims that the organisation has continued to function as a clandestine movement, though it was banned in 2001. As per the provisions of the Act, the ban has to be approved by a tribunal, which is headed by a sitting High Court judge, within six months of the government notification.
Justice Shali asked Additional Solicitor General A.S. Chandhiok to file affidavits related to evidence against SIMI from Kerala by April 27, 2012.
During the hearing in Thiruvananthapuram, the tribunal will hear witnesses depose on SIMI's activities in the State.
Former SIMI members Humam Ahmad Siddiqui and Misbahul Islam, who are opposing the ban, will have the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses, following a decision by Justice Shali to defer hearing objections to their locus standi . During the tribunal's last hearing, Mr Chandhiok had argued that neither men were legitimate parties to the tribunal's hearings, as the ban applied only to “members and office-bearers” of SIMI.
Allowing counsel of Siddiqui and Islam to participate in the hearing and cross-examine the witnesses, Justice Shali said it would be “premature” to adjudicate on the issue now.
SIMI's ban is the sixth imposed by the Union government, following orders issued in 2001, 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2010. In each case, the ban was upheld, with the exception of 2008, when Justice Geeta Mittal ordered the lifting of the ban on technical grounds.