IRF to challenge ban before tribunal

facing action:The Islamic Research Foundation office at Dongri and Zakir Naik (inset). —file photos  

The Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) will be arguing against the validity of the ban imposed on it and invoking of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) before a Central government tribunal.

The Union Cabinet had on Tuesday given the go-ahead to declare the NGO, run by preacher Zakir Naik, as unlawful and placed a five-year ban on its activities. The ban is similar to the one imposed on the Students Islamic Movement of India in 2001. As per law, any case where the UAPA is invoked, is heard by a tribunal so that the party facing the charges can appeal before it.

“We will be arguing before the tribunal that the UAPA is not applicable on the IRF, and hence, the ban is not valid. We are awaiting the Centre’s Gazzette notification, and will take further action after going through it,” said advocate Mubin Solkar, who is representing Mr. Naik.

Earlier this year, the Mumbai Police had sent a report on Mr. Naik’s activities to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, which was then sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Centre, meanwhile, set up its own inquiry into the IRF’s activities, including its funding, and the ban was imposed based on the reports of both the inquiries.

Based in Mumbai, the IRF, apart from a library and some offices, has educational institutions, all of which now face action. Senior Mumbai Police officials said anyone found to be indulging in IRF-related activities or in possession of the IRF literature will be liable for action with immediate effect under the UAPA. All the property owned by the IRF in Mumbai will be under the scanner, and any property which is found to have been bought with funding received by the IRF is likely to be seized.

When contacted, Joint Commissioner of Police Deven Bharti said, “We have not yet received the Centre’s notification of the ban and we can not comment without going through it.”

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2021 3:53:13 AM |

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