The Delhi High Court has directed the Centre to consider an application seeking to denotify the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) as a ‘terrorist organisation’. Justice Vibhu Bakhru noted that the application was made before the Centre on September 27 for denotification of SIMI as a terrorist organisation under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and said the decision be communicated to the petitioner within 30 days.
“… an application made under Section 36(1) of the UAPA is required to be considered and disposed of by the Central Government within a period of 45 days from the date of receipt of the said application.
“It is seen that the said period of 45 days has not expired as yet. In the circumstances, the respondent (Centre) is directed to consider the application and take a decision, if not already taken, on the petitioner’s application and communicate the same to the petitioner within a period of 30 days from now,” the court said in its order while disposing of the petition.
The petition, filed by former SIMI member Humam Ahmad Siddiqui, sought direction to the Centre to dispose of the application under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 or UAPA seeking to denotify SIMI in accordance with law.
The SIMI was declared a terrorist organisation under the provision of the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance 2001, which was later replaced by the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), 2002 and SIMI continued to be notified as a terrorist organisation, the court noted in the order. Thereafter, POTA was repealed and replaced by the UAPA.
The plea said that an application was moved by former SIMI chief Shahid Badar under the provisions of POTA for de-notification of SIMI as a terrorist organisation but it was not considered.