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Delhi HC Junks Zakir Naik's Plea to Lift Ban on Islamic Research Foundation

After Ministry of Home Affairs banned Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s controversial Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and ordered its freezing of accounts, Naik had moved the Delhi High Court to challenge the ban, but in a setback to Naik, the Delhi High Court on Thursday dismissed his plea stating that the Ministry of Home Affairs had enough evidence.

Debayan Roy | News18.com

Updated:March 16, 2017, 12:19 PM IST
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Delhi HC Junks Zakir Naik's Plea to Lift Ban on Islamic Research Foundation
File photo of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.
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New Delhi: After Ministry of Home Affairs banned Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s controversial Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and ordered its freezing of accounts, Naik had moved the Delhi High Court to challenge the ban, but in a setback to Naik, the Delhi High Court on Thursday dismissed his plea stating that the Ministry of Home Affairs had enough evidence.

Naik had challenged the November 17, 2016, notification of the MHA which had imposed an immediate ban on the organisation under UAPA, in January at the Delhi HC, where he contended that the ban was imposed “without any application of mind on the part of the Government authorities." It also said that ban notification did not disclose any grounds or conclusion to establish that the government could arrive at such a decision.

But on Thursday, while delivering the order, the HC observed that MHA had sufficient material to impose the ban. “Immediate action appears to have been taken in interest of integrity and public order maintenance,” the HC observed.

Naik’s appeal also questioned Sections 3 and 4 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, seeking clarity on whether it provided excess powers at the hands of the government and hence created “unreasonable restrictions on the rights guaranteed under Article 19(1) C of the Constitution of India." The IRF had also alleged that the act of banning was a “calculated move made by the Centre, which was evident since media houses were informed about the developments in advance”.

However, the Additional Solicitor General, said that the ban was an urgent step to prevent the youth of India from being radicalized by the statements and speeches made by IRF. The government had also expressed concern that such speeches can “motivate” more youth to join terror organisations like the Islamic State.

The foundation had first come under the scanner after the terrorist responsible for Dhaka attack earlier this year, in an online post had said, that he was inspired by Naik's speeches. Bangladeshi newspaper Daily Star had reported that one of the perpetrators of the July 1, 2016 terror attack in Dhaka, Rohan Imtiaz, was sharing posts on a social media site quoting Naik.

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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