The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has issued notices to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs after a former Jamaat-e-Islami member challenged the ban on the socio-religious organisation. The MHA has been asked to file its response by April 22.
Mehraj Azeem (61), filed a petition before the High Court, saying the “respondents have not followed the procedure” and that banning an organisation without giving a chance to present its case is violative of the Constitutional safeguards.
Citing the voluntary services offered by the socio-religious outfit, the petition read, “Presumably even if certain material is available with the respondents the same would constitute an incriminating material against a single individual of the organisation and not against the organisation as a whole… the same has to be dealt in-accordance with the law of land and could not be used to muzzle and gag an entire political organisation having decades of existence.”
“The respondents have not followed the procedure while announcing the impugned notification. Respondents should have stated the grounds to support its declaration. Section 3(4) (publication of notification) and Rule 4 (additional mode of service of notification u/s. 3) lay down that the organisation which has been declared ‘unlawful’ must be served a copy of the notification,” Syed Musaib, the counsel for the petitioner said. “Subsequently, the government has not cared to form a single judge (High Court) tribunal as the same had to be done within 30 days of the impugned notification. Hence, the respondents cannot, at will, declare an association unlawful and proceed to use its executive powers against the association and its members. Banning an organisation without giving the latter a chance to represent its case ‘is violative of the Constitution safeguards’ as it has a drastic effect of curtailing the freedom under Article 19(1)(c) with immediate effect.”
On February 28, the MHA declared Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir as an “unlawful” association, banning it under Section 3 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).