The Karnataka high court on Wednesday upheld a ban on Popular Front of India (PFI) and dismissed a petition challenging the Centre’s notification on the ban. The PFI leader from the state had approached the high court challenging the Centre’s decision.
A single judge bench of justice M Nagaprasanna pronounced the order on the petition filed by one PFI activist named Nasir Pasha through his wife. Pasha is currently in judicial custody.
On Monday, the high court had reserved the verdict after hearing all the concerned parties in the case.
The plea had stated that in 2007-08, the PFI was registered under the Karnataka Societies Registration Act and it was working for the empowerment of the downtrodden section of the society.
“The organisation which was existing in several states followed and benefited by several persons, declaring the unlawful association with immediate effect that to without specifying any reason is arbitrary and illegal,” the plea read.
In September, the Centre declared the PFI an ‘unlawful association’ and banned it for the next five years, as well as directed all states and the Union Territories (UTs) to “exercise” powers of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against the outfit and its affiliates.
Over 100 PFI cadres were arrested in multiple raids carried out across the country by the NIA, the Enforcement Directorate and state agencies as well as police forces based on findings about a number of “instances of international linkages of PFI with global terrorist groups like Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)”.
The PFI and its associates are also charged for working covertly to increase the radicalisation of one community by promoting a sense of insecurity in the country, which is substantiated by the fact that some PFI cadres have joined international terrorist organisations.