An office memorandum was issued by the Union Law Ministry notifying the appointment of Delhi High Court judge Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma as the presiding officer of the UAPA Tribunal for reviewing the five-year ban imposed on Popular Front of India (PFI) and its affiliate organisations.
The PFI will have the chance to present its case before the tribunal that must confirm the government notification for the ban to continue.
The central government on 28 September declared PFI as unlawful under Section 3 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and imposed a ban on it for five years.
The organisation has been accused of indulging in 'unlawful activities' which are prejudicial to the integrity, sovereignty and security of the country.
As per Section 4 of the UAPA, when any association has been declared unlawful by a notification of the Central Government, the same has to be referred to the Tribunal for the purpose of adjudicating whether or not there is sufficient cause for declaring the association unlawful.
Further, on the receipt of such a reference, the tribunal would issue notice to the association for showcasing why the association should not be declared as unlawful.
With a period of six month, the tribunal is required to decide the matter, either confirming or cancelling the declaration made by the central government.
On 28 September, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued a notification declaring PFI and eight of its associate organisations as "unlawful associations" under the UAPA.
The notification stated that “PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts have been involved in the violent terrorist activities with an intent to create a reign of terror in the country, thereby endangering the security and public order of the state".
"Some of the PFI’s founding members are the leaders of Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and PFI has linkages with Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), both of which are proscribed organisations," the Ministry said.
Our reports on the PFI ban and its implication can be accessed here.
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