Indian govt bans Islamic Research Foundation, Zakir Naik’s seeks legal help

NewDelhi,Nov16:As Centre bans Zakir Naik’s NGO ‘Islamic Research Foundation’ for five years, the controversial Islamist Preacher’s counsel asserted that it was an ‘illegal and unjustified’ ban, adding that they will move the Tribunal against the order.

Speaking to ANI here, Naik’s lawyer Mubin Soka asserted that so far they have not received any such notification, adding that under the law, if any organization is to be banned, the notification has to be published in the government gazette and then a copy of that has to be served on the concerned organization.

“So far we have not been served with any such kind of notification under section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). We are clear that this ban is not justified at all and it is an illegal ban because the provision of UAPA has been wrongly invoked in this case. According to us it is a clear misuse of provisions of UAPA,” Solkar said.

Emphasizing his defence, he further said that in order to ban an organization as unlawful, it has to have as its object promoting an offence under 153 A, i.e promoting enmity on grounds of religion which the NGO ‘Islamic Research Foundation’ IRF does not have.

“IRF since its inception has promoted peace and harmony, charitable, sociable and humanitarian activities. This ban is wholly unjustified, so even if this notification is issued it does not normally take effect unless it it’s confirmed by the Tribunal,” he added.

Expressing confidence of their case coming through in their favour, Solkar added that he will put the case before the Tribunal and sure that the notification of the ban will be cancelled.

Earlier, the Centre banned Naik’s NGO ‘Islamic Research Foundation’ for five years and asked the law enforcing Agencies to maintain a strict surveillance on the activities of all establishments of the organization.

The decision was taken by the cabinet committee on security after Naik was found to deliver provocative speeches.

The development comes after the Ministry of Home Affairs issued a show cause notice to Naik’s NGO thereby initiating the process for cancellation of its FCRA licence.

MHA sources stated that the process for putting Zakir Naik’s educational trust in prior permission category has also been initiated. The Centre had time and again asserted that Zakir Naik’s IRF is maligning India and, therefore, on several occasions advocated for a ban.

Naik came under the scanner after the Bangladeshi newspaper ‘Daily Star’ revealed that one of the perpetrators of the July 1 terror attack in Dhaka, Rohan Imtiaz, was inspired by Naik.

He is banned in both the United Kingdom and Canada for his alleged hate speeches aimed against other religions.

He is also among the 16 banned Islamic scholars in Malaysia and is accused of radicalising and attracting youth for terror acts and has come under the scanner of the security agencies.

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