What procedure is followed to decide on plea seeking ban on outfits: HC to Centre

A division bench of Justices Ranjit V More and Surendra P Tavade was hearing a plea filed by Arshad Ali Ansari, seeking a direction to the state government and Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to ban activities of the Sanatan Sanstha, a right-wing organisation.

The Bombay High Court Wednesday asked the central government to submit the procedure followed to decide on a representation seeking ban on an organisation for alleged unlawful activities.

A division bench of Justices Ranjit V More and Surendra P Tavade was hearing a plea filed by Arshad Ali Ansari, seeking a direction to the state government and Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to ban activities of the Sanatan Sanstha, a right-wing organisation.

Ansari in his petition claimed he filed a representation before the state and the central governments in September 2018, seeking that ban be imposed on the organisation under section 3 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, which states that if the central government is of opinion that any association is unlawful, it can issue a notification declaring such an outfit to be unlawful.

In his plea, Ansari claimed that the name of Sanatan Sanstha had cropped up in connection with bomb blast cases in Thane, Vashi and Panvel in the state and in the murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar (shot by two unidentified gunmen in Pune on August 20, 2013).

The plea also seeks directions from the court to conclude the inquiry and proceedings against the organisation in an expedited manner and a status report of the representation made by petitioner in 2018 from the state and the Centre.

On Wednesday, the petitioner said that there was no response from the authorities since last two years in the matter.

While the state government informed the bench that the competent authority to decide was the MHA, the central government told the court that the state government first requires to send a report on its findings on the outfit, after which MHA will look into the issue.

“What is the procedure that is normally followed? Show us that procedure,” Justice More asked the central government while posted the petition for hearing on March 4.

Source: The Indian Express

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