PFI approaches Supreme Court challenging 5-year ban imposed on it by Centre

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The ban imposed was sought by the States of Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Karnataka

Popular Front of India (PFI) has approached the Supreme Court of India challenging the Central Government’s decision to impose a 5-year ban on it and its eight affiliated fronts.

An SLP has been filed challenging the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) Tribunal presided by Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma order from March this year which "upheld" the Central Government’s decision.

Top Court's division bench of Justice Aniruddha Bose and Bela M Trivedi was slated to hear PFI's case today, but the same was not taken up on account of a letter circulated.

Notably on September 28, 2022, the Central Government, in the exercise of the powers conferred by Sub-section (1) of Section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 declared the Popular Front of India (PFI) and the other eight alleged affiliated fronts as ‘unlawful associations’.

The fronts included: Rehab India Foundation (RIF), Campus Front of India (CFI),  All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Confederation of Human Rights Organization (NCHRO), National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation, and Rehab Foundation, Kerala, were banned for five years.

To trace the history, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had carried out massive operations, and raids in several states to track down people involved in the outfit.

The Gazette by the Ministry of Home Affairs had put forth, “they have been pursuing a secret agenda to radicalize a particular section of the society working towards undermining the concept of democracy and show sheer disrespect towards the constitutional authority and constitutional set up of the country”

It had further stated that the PFI indulged in such unlawful activities that were prejudicial to the integrity, sovereignty, and security of the country and could potentially disturb communal harmony. 

PFIs linkages were established by two proscribed organizations, the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), and Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

It is to be noted that in October 2022, the Central government notified the appointment of Justice Sharma as the presiding officer of the UAPA Tribunal to review the ban imposed by it.

Case Title: Popular Front of India vs. Union of India