NEW DELHI: In a major blow to the Popular Front of India, a tribunal set up under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act upheld the ban imposed upon it and its affiliated organisations by the central government.
The tribunal set up on October 3, 2022 was headed by Delhi High Court's judge Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma.
The tribunal examined if there is sufficient cause or not for declaring these organisations, as an unlawful association.
On September 28, 2022, the Centre has banned Popular Front of India (PFI) and its associates or affiliates or fronts including Rehab India Foundation (RIF) Campus Front of India (CFI), All India Imams Council (AC), National Confederation of Human Rights Organization (NCHRO) National Women's Front. Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala for five years.
The development has come after years of investigations for being involved in "several criminal and terror cases" and having links with the terror outfits like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).
There were also allegations that the banned Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) besides PFI have close links with many terrorist organisations.
The government order had said that some of PFI's founding members are the leaders of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and PFI has linkages with Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), both of which are proscribed organisations.
On November 30, 2022, the Karnataka High Court had dismissed a plea against the Union government's decision to ban the Popular Front of India (PFI) and bringing it in force immediately.
The court had then noted that under Article 19 (4), the government can impose reasonable restrictions on the right of all its citizens to form association under Article 19 (1)(c) of the Constitution.
The court had also pointed out the notification stated that several associates, affiliates or fronts of the PFI had been indulging in terrorist activities in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.