What procedure is followed on pleas seeking ban on outfits?

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday sought to know from the Union government what procedure is followed before deciding a representation seeking ban on an outfit for alleged unlawful activities.

A division bench of Justices R V More and S P Tavade was hearing a petition filed by one Arshad Ali Ansari, seeking a direction to the Maharashtra government and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to ban activities of the right wing organisation Sanatan Sanstha.

Ansari in his petition claimed he filed a representation before the state and the central government in September 2018, seeking that ban be imposed on the group under section 3 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

However, till date there has not been any response.

On Wednesday, the state government informed the bench that the competent authority to decide was the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

The Union government, however, told the court that the state government will have to first send a report on its findings on the outfit, after which the MHA will look into the issue.

“What is the procedure that is normally followed? Show us that procedure,” the court said and posted the petition for further hearing on March 4.

As per Ansari’s plea, filed by advocate Rajesh Khobragade, the Sanatan Sanstha’s name cropped up in some bmob blast cases in Maharashtra and in the killings of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar and activist Govind Pansare.

“Members of the Sanatan Sanstha have been arrested for allegedly planting bombs in auditoriums at Thane and Vashi,” the plea said.

The petition has sought a direction to the state and the Centre to decide Ansari’s representation at the earliest and ban the Sanatan Sanstha.

UAPA Tribunal upholds ban on pro-Khalistan group Sikhs for Justice

The Centre’s ban on pro-Khalistan group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) has been upheld by the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act tribunal headed by Delhi High Court Chief Justice D N Patel.

The tribunal has held that it was clear from the evidence on record that activities of the group were “unlawful”, “disruptive” and “threaten the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of India”.

Justice Patel also said that the evidence proves that SFJ was “working in collusion with anti-India entities and forces”.

“Thus, the Central Government had sufficient cause to take action under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for declaring Sikhs For Justice as an unlawful association.

“The notification dated July 10, 2019 issued by the Union of India under the Act declaring Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) to be an unlawful association is hereby confirmed. The reference is answered in the affirmative,” the tribunal said.

The Centre by its July 10, 2019 notification had declared SFJ as an unlawful association and had banned it for five years, saying the group’s primary objective was to establish an “independent and sovereign country” in Punjab and it openly espouses the cause of Khalistan and in that process, challenges the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India.

Thereafter, in August a tribunal was set up for adjudicating whether there was sufficient cause to declare SFJ as an unlawful association.

No bail for two students arrested under UAPA

A court here on Wednesday dismissed the bail applications of two CPI(M) student activists, who were arrested under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for allegedly distributing pro-Maoist pamphlets.

Thaha Fazal and Allan Shuhaib, who are students of Journalism and Law respectively and CPI(M)’s branch committee members, were arrested on November 2 from here, causing widespread criticism in the Left-ruled state.

The counsel of the two students told reporters that the Principal Sessions court had dismissed the bail pleas.

The grounds on which the bail applications were dismissed will be known only after getting copies of the order, they said.

The court has permitted the counsels to meet the accused for an hour this evening.

The petitioners are also likely to move the high court to quash the FIR against them and to seek bail.

The two accused are under judicial custody till November 15.

The brother and aunt of Taha Fazal said they have faith in the judiciary and the police had presented “fabricated evidence”.

No automatic denial of bail for terror accused: Law panel

No automatic denial of bail for terror accused: Law panel
No automatic denial of bail for terror accused: Law panel

There should be no “automatic denial” of bail to a person accused of being involved in terror acts, the Law Commission has cautioned indicating that evidence should be given priority.

In its report on ‘Provisions relating to bail’, the panel has warned that “mere classification of an act as an act of terrorism should not result in the automatic denial of bail or reversal of the burden of proof”.

The report, submitted to the law ministry last week, pointed to the provisions in the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) wherein the period of detention without bail can be extended.

It indicated that evidence against the accused should play an important role and people against whom there is shaky evidence should be granted bail before charges are pressed.

“Under UAPA, the period of detention without bail is 90 days. It likewise provides that the special court may extend the said period up to 180 days based on the report submitted by the public prosecutor indicating the progress of the investigation and the specific reasons for the detention of the person accused of an offence beyond the said period of 90 days,” the reported pointed out.

It, however, said the approach to bail under UAPA is “liberal than what was under POTA and TADA”.

Under POTA and TADA, there was a virtual prohibition on bail for offences under these laws, it recalled. The two laws were repealed by Parliament.

But at the same time, the commission, headed by Justice B S Chauhan (retd) said “there is a necessity to impose stringent conditions while granting bail” to those accused of economic offences.

( Source – PTI )

Zakir Naik, IRF indulging in unlawful activity: HC

The Delhi High Court today upheld the Centre’s decision to immediately ban Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), saying the organisation and its president and members were indulging in “unlawful activity”.

Turning down the foundation’s claim that the Centre has not given reasons for its order, Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said that there is material to establish that the “immediate action appears to have been taken in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India and public order”.

“The activities which the petitioner organisation and its president and members are alleged to have indulged in, would clearly come within the purview of unlawful activity and since petitioner organisation and its members are alleged to have been indulging in the said activities it would come within the definition of unlawful association,” the court said.

Producing the contents of the order by which the ban was imposed on the IRF, the court noted that as per the notification the foundation, its members and particularly founder — Naik — was encouraging and aiding its followers to promote the feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious communities and groups.

“Thus, it cannot be held that the notification insofar as it relates to, the exercise of power under proviso to section 3(3) of the Act and the declaration of petitioner association to be an unlawful association with immediate effect, is an arbitrary and unreasonable exercise of power.

“Not only is the material available on the record of the Central Government but the reasons for exercise of the said power have been disclosed in the notification,” it said.

The IRF had moved the court challenging the November 17, 2016 notification of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) which had imposed an immediate ban on Naik’s organisation under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

Holding that Naik’s foundation’s plea against the Centre’s decision has “no merit”, the court said the decision of the government was “not arbitrary and illegal”.


Magistrate can extend detention period upto 180 days: Madras HC

Magistrate can extend detention period upto 180 days: Madras HC
Magistrate can extend detention period upto 180 days: Madras HC

The custody of a person accused of a crime under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act can be extended by a court up to 180 days, provided it is satisfied with the report of the public prosecutor indicating progress in the probe and finds other specific reasons, the Madras High Court has said.

A division bench comprising justices M. Jaichandren and S. Baskaran passed the orders while dismissing a habeas corpus plea on Thursday seeking a direction to authorities to produce Rishwan Sheriff, a remand prisoner, and contending that on the expiry of 90 days, the magistrate did not have jurisdiction to deal with the matter.

“Section 43-D of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, does not exclude the jurisdiction of the magistrate from exercising the remand extension power beyond 90 days.

However, the said power can be exercised up to 180 days,” the court said.

“In fact Clause(2) of Section 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 states that the magistrate to whom an accused person is forwarded under the said section may whether he has or has no jurisdiction to try the case, authorize detention of the accused in custody from time to time as he thinks it fit.”

“The proviso to the said section makes it clear that the magistrate may authorize the detention of the accused person beyond the prescribed period if he is satisfied that adequate grounds exist for doing so. As such it is clear that necessary procedures had been followed by the magistrate concerned in extending the remand of the detenu in question,” the court said.

The detenu was arrested on March 16, 2016. He was remanded in judicial custody by XI Metropolitan Magistrate, Saidapet. The custody was extended from time to time.

The counsel for the petitioner submitted that the extension of remand from March 16 to July 15 was arbitrary, illegal and contrary to relevant provisions of the law.

The counsel further submitted that on the expiry of 90 days the magistrate did not have jurisdiction to deal with the matter.

Public Prosecutor Rajarathinam submitted that power of extending the remand was vested with the magistrate concerned under provisions of Section 43-D of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 and Sections 16 and 22 of the National Investigating Agency Act, 2008.

Accepting the contention that the magistrate had power to extend the remand beyond 90 days under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the bench said, “In the present case we are clear that there has been no breach of the procedures followed by the magistrate in extending the remand period of the detenu” and dismissed the plea filed by the detenu’s wife.

( Source – PTI )

HC quashes Baig”s death penalty in Pune German bakery blast

Himayat Baig
Himayat Baig

Mumbai, The Bombay High Court today quashed the death penalty awarded to lone convict Himayat Baig in the 2010 German Bakery blast in Pune due to lack of evidence, but confirmed the life sentence imposed on him for possession of explosives.

A division bench of Justices N H Patil and S B Shukre said Baig is acquitted of all charges under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), under sections 120(B) (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC, and under some sections of the Explosive Substances Act.

The court, however, confirmed Baig’s conviction and life sentence imposed on him under section 5(B) of the Explosive Substances Act, for possession of RDX.

The court also confirmed his conviction under section 474 of IPC, for submitting forged documents while procuring mobile phone SIM cards.

The high court further said that it need not pass any order on the applications filed by two witnesses in the case, as it has acquitted Baig of the charges.

Notably, when Baig filed his appeal in the high court challenging the death penalty, two witnesses in the case had also filed an application seeking their evidence to be recorded again as their statement was taken under duress.

Dressed in a black shirt and blue jeans, Baig was present in the court when the judgement was pronounced.

Baig, who the police said was a member of the terrorist outfit Indian Mujahideen, was arrested in September 2010 for involvement in the blast at German Bakery, a popular eatery in Pune’s Koregaon Park area, which killed 17 persons and injured 58, including some foreign nationals.

In 2013, a sessions court in Pune convicted him and awarded capital punishment.

Professor’s hand chopping case: Eight years rigorous imprisonment to 10 men

T J JosephTen persons belonging to radial outfits were today sentenced to eight years rigorous imprisonment by a special NIA court for chopping off a hand of  a professor in Kerala in 2010, accusing him of hurting religious sentiments through a question paper he had set.NIA court judge P Sasidharan also awarded two years rigorous imprisonment to three others in the sensational case and imposed a fine of Rs eight lakh on the 13 convicts which will be given to the victim, T J Joseph, professor of Newman College in Thodupuzha in Idukki district.

Those awarded 10-year rigorous imprisonment were found guilty under various sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), along with different sections of the IPC and Explosive Substances Act. The rest three were convicted for offences under IPC.

Since many of the convicts have been under judicial custody for five years, they will have to serve only the remainder of the period in jail.

The court, which began trial in July 2013, examined over 300 prosecution witnesses, four defence witnesses, over 950 prosecution documents, nearly 30 defence documents, and over 200 material objects.

Thirty-seven persons were chargesheeted by NIA in the case. However, only 31 underwent trial as the remaining six, including first accused Savad, were absconding.

The 13 persons owing allegiance Popular Front of India were convicted in the case in which the right hand of Joseph was chopped while he was returning home after attending Sunday mass at a church in Muvattupuzha in Ernakulam district on July 4, 2010.

The court in its judgement had said the prosecution has proved beyond all reasonable doubts that eight of the accused along with some others entered into a criminal conspiracy to eliminate the professor by inflicting grievous injuries.

They did it out of enmity towards Joseph,accusing him of hurting religious sentiments of a community through a question paper he set for his students

Professor’s hand chopping case


Court allows NIA to seek details of Skype a/c of ISIS recruit

A local court today allowed National Investigation Agency to seek details of the conversations and chats carried out by the alleged ISIS `recruit’ Arif Majeed through the telecommunication apps Skype and Tango.

“We want the details of the communication made by Arif in the past six months and the court has given us permission to write to these application companies,” said an NIA officer.

Skype is headquartered in Luxembourg while Tango is based in California, USA. “The information about his accounts will help us know about the persons with whom he was in touch before leaving for Iraq and during his stay there,” said an NIA source.

The 23-year-old youth from the neighbouring Thane landed in Mumbai on November 28 after a visit to Iraq, following which he was detained and subsequently arrested.

A case under niaand Section 125 of IPC which deals with offence of `waging war against any Asiatic country which has friendly ties with India’ has been registered against ISIS, Arif and three of his friends, all engineering students.

According to police, Arif and his friends flew to Baghdad on May 23 as part of a group of 22 pilgrims to visit religious shrines in Iraq. Upon returning to India, other pilgrims told police that Arif, Fahad, Aman and Shaheen Tanki had left for Fallujah, a city west of Baghdad.

In August, Tanki called up Arif’s family and told them that their son had become a ‘martyr’ while fighing for ISIS.

However, later Arif’s father Ejaz Majeed reportedly told NIA that his son had fled from ISIS-controlled areas to Turkey after fighting for the militant group for nearly three months and he now wanted to return to India.

Arif is now in judicial custody here while the other three are still missing

Failure to depose: Court issues bailable warrants against cops

A has issued bailable warrants against three Uttar Pradesh Police officials for their failure to appear before it to depose as witness in a case involving jailed Naxal leader Kobad Ghandy, who is facing charges of indulging in unlawful activities.

Additional Sessions Judge Reetesh Singh issued bailable warrants for a sum of Rs 5,000 against Rajesh Srivastava, Sameer Saurabh and Rajiv Diwedi, who were summoned as prosecution witnesses but did not appear before the court.

“Three other witnesses namely SI Rajiv Diwedi, Deputy SP Sameer Saurabh and Deputy SP Rajesh Srivastava were summoned for today, who are served, but have not appeared.

“This matter is fixed for evidence of prosecution on November 5, 2014. Issue bailable warrants qua these three witnesses in the sum of Rs 5,000, to be executed through DGP, UP,” the court said.

The court is currently recording statements of prosecution witnesses in the case in which Ghandy and Rajinder Kumar Fulara are facing trial. Both are lodged in jail under judicial custody.

The court had on July 16, 2012 framed charges against Ghandy for allegedly being a member of a banned terror group and furthering its activities in violation of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

He was charged under sections 20 and 38 of UAPA relating to membership of the banned group CPI-Maoist and furthering its activities.