The High Court of Karnataka has upheld the recent ban imposed by the Central government on the Popular Front of India (PFI) for its involvement in anti-national activities.
A single judge bench of Justice M Nagaprasanna on Wednesday pronounced the judgment. The ban was challenged by Nasir Ali, a resident of Bengaluru and the state president of the proscribed outfit.
The Central government had issued an order banning the organisation and its allied outfits for a period of five years with immediate effect on September 28. The Centre took this action after raids on the offices of PFI and the residences of its members across the country.
It came in the wake of allegations that the banned Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) besides PFI have close links with many terrorist organisations.
The government order had said that some of PFI's founding members are the leaders of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and PFI has linkages with Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), both of which are proscribed organisations.
Senior advocate Jayakumar Patil, who argued for PFI, had submitted that declaring it illegal was an anti-constitutional move. He said that the order did not specify reasons for declaring it as an illegal organisation.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who argued for the Central government, said that the PFI was carrying out anti-national acts and it had joined hands with terrorist organisations carrying out violent activities in the country and abetting such acts.
The court was told that members of the organisation were creating an atmosphere of fear in the nation.