Zakir Naik’s NGO Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) on Friday moved to Delhi High Court to challenge the Central government’s ban on the NGO. In December, the Centre had issued a notification declaring it an “unlawful association” and banning it with immediate effect.
According to The Hindu, the SC bench headed by Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva asked the Centre to give an explanation why it had demanded an immediate ban on the NGO.
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva accepted the application and directed the Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain. In the application, the petitioner challenged the Centre’s notification and mentioned the ban was imposed without “any application of mind on the part of the Government authorities.”
The petition also said that “the impugned notification in fact discloses no grounds or conclusions that have been drawn from any facts and material that was before the Government to sustain its decision.”
Advocate S Hariharan who representing the IRF said the government’s notification failed to point out that Dr. Zakir Naik has been instigating any kind of anti-national activities. He maintained, Naik’s speeches which allegedly influenced youth has “misquoted and taken out of context”.
The NGO also claimed that the ban was the Centre’s calculated move.
On the other hand, the Centre said it was “pushed” to impose the ban. The ASG Sanjay Jain submitted, “Youths were being radicalised. Many were in the queue for joining the Islamic State. There was probability of many youths becoming terrorists. What could have been a more urgent situation for a nation? Should we have waited for pralay [catastrophe]?”
He added five FIRs have been registered against Mr. Naik and the NGO, one of them was based on a complaint from the father of the missing Kerala youth who had joined ISIS which clearly showed the influence and threat of the organization.
Jain said the matter is being heard by a tribunal under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and it will be taken up on February 6.
Last year, IRF was banned for five years with immediate effect. The cabinet approved the ban because of Naik’s offensive speeches and the criminal cases filed against him and other members of his NGO.
Zakir Naik and IRF came under scanner after Dhaka cafe attack in July which killed 20 people. The Bangladeshi government alleged that his speech instigated some of the terrorists who involved in the attack.