The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday junked a petition that questioned the union Home Ministry’s notification that had declared the Popular Front of India and its associates or affiliates or fronts as unlawful associations with immediate effect for a period of five years, reported Live Law.
A single-judge bench of Justice M Nagaprasanna pronounced the order on a petition filed by a PFI activist through his wife. He is currently in judicial custody.
The plea stated that the union government has exercised its sovereign power arbitrarily based on certain incidents of crime to curb the fundamental right of minorities under Article 19 (1) (C) of the constitution.
“The organisation which was existing in several states, followed and benefitted by several persons, declaring the unlawful association with immediate effect that to without specifying any reasons is arbitrary and illegal,” the plea stated, as quoted by Live Law.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for Centre opposed the plea saying that required reasons were given in the notification to declare the ban, and there is nothing illegal in it.
On September 27, the government had banned the PFI for its alleged terror-related activities. In a notification issued late night, the Union Home Ministry said the central government believes that the PFI and its affiliates have been involved in subversive activities, thereby disturbing public order and undermining the constitutional set up of the country, and encouraging and enforcing a terror-based regressive regime.
The organisations which were also declared banned under the stringent anti-terror law UAPA include Rehab India Foundation (RIF), Campus Front of India (CF), 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.
The ban came after nationwide raids across the country on September 22 in a multi-agency operation that was spearheaded by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Over 100 PFI activists and leaders across 15 states were held for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country.