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Ban on Zakir Naik's Islamic Research Foundation was in India's interest, says Delhi HC
The Delhi HC today maintained that the decision of the Centre to ban Dr Zakir Naik's Islamic Research Foundation was taken for safeguarding national security while dismissing the plea challenging the ban.

Holding that Dr Zakir's foundation's plea challenging the Centre's decision has "no merit", the court said that the government order was "not arbitrary and illegal".

Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva was quoted as saying: "The decision by the Union of India was taken in the interest to safeguard the sovereignty, integrity and national security of India."

The court further agreed with the assertion of the government that the order was made after "mind application" as there was an apprehension that the youth might be "radicalised" to join terrorist groups. It further said that the government has produced some material before it to back the decision of immediately imposing the ban on this organisation. The government said that it has enough material in its possession to take action against the foundation.

Islamic Research Foundation, had challenged, in its plea the November 17, 2016 notification of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) which had imposed an immediate ban on the said organisation under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

Islamic Research Foundation had submitted that the notification issued by MHA gives no reason and puts forward no material for taking this step as was required by the law.

IRF further said that the immediate ban was put into place without any show cause notice.

However, the Centre had responded to this submission and had said that the urgency for these steps was felt for the apprehension that Indian youth could be "radicalised" or "motivated" by the alleged statements and speeches made by IRF and its members, which is a cause of global concern.

Utterly aggrieved by the Centre's response, IRF's counsel had also said that whatever has been done by an individual in his/her personal capacity doesn't mean that the entire organisation can be banned.

"IRF is not an accused in the case and the crime report reported against Naik is of 2012-2013," IRF's counsel had said, further stating, "Why action has been taken after such a long time? Is this the way the government applies its mind?"

The Centre had earlier told the Delhi High Court that according to the notification, Dr Zakir was also accused of making statements which were "derogatory of other religions" hence, "spreading communal disharmony".

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