NEW DELHI: A special tribunal headed by Delhi High Court Judge Justice Suresh Kait has upheld the ban imposed on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), and asked the government to consider setting up a special tribunal to ensure that innocent persons are not booked. The tribunal order came after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), through a notification in February, extended the ban on SIMI for another five years and referred the matter to the tribunal for adjudication.
Under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, any association, which has been declared unlawful by a notification by the Centre, needs to be referred to the tribunal within 30 days for the purpose of adjudicating to ascertain whether or not there is sufficient cause for ban.
The tribunal observed that the government may also consider constituting a special tribunal to ensure that only guilty persons are punished. The tribunal pulled up the state agencies for sending notices in a casual manner for persons to appear before the tribunal. The tribunal also noted that individuals, who have neither been a SIMI member nor faced any criminal trials, have been served notices.
The Centre had set up the tribunal, headed by Kait, to conduct the proceedings, including deposition of various witnesses, to ratify or reject the five-year ban imposed on SIMI. The SIMI was declared an unlawful association for the first time on 27 September 2001, soon after the 9/11 attack. This will be the seventh consecutive ban on the outfit, which was formed at Aligarh in UP in 1977.