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Centre seeks extension of SIMI ban

August 19, 2008 19:22 IST

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The Centre on Monday urged the apex court to extend its stay on a tribunal's order lifting the ban imposed on Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI [Images]) charged with indulging in terrorist activities, including the recent Ahmedabad [Images] and Bangalore blasts.

Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam who made an impromptu mention of the issue before a bench of Justices B N Aggrawal, G S Singhvi and J M Panchal, submitted that the matter which was scheduled to be heard on August 22 was not listed in the cause list (which carries details of cases scheduled to be taken up by a court on a particular day).

The ASG submitted that the "matter was of great importance" and the stay, if not extended, would adversely affect the country's interests.

However, the air was cleared after the registry officials informed the bench that the matter was listed for hearing on August 25.

On August 6, a bench headed by the Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan stayed a special tribunal order that had earlier ordered lifting restrictions on its activities.

 The apex court had also issued  notice to SIMI and posted the matter for hearing after three weeks.

The Centre has complained to the apex court that the tribunal set up under the Unlawful Activities (prevention) Act, in its 263-page order has not expressed anything on the

merits of the case even when the government had provided Intelligence Bureau reports pointing towards members of SIMI indulging in terrorist activities.(more)

"Being a group of students and youth, SIMI is easily influenced by hardcore Muslim terrorist organizations operating from Jammu and Kashmir [Images]. Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and

Lashker-e-Toiba have successfully penetrated into SIMI cadre to achieve their goals," the Government had contended during the earlier hearing.

The tribunal headed by Delhi [Images] High Court judge, Justice Geeta Mittal, had on August 5 quashed the February 7 notification of the Centre extending the ban on SIMI till 2010 saying no new evidence was placed against the organisation to justify the ban.

SIMI, banned since 2001, has been under the scanner of security and intelligence agencies for terror attacks in various parts of the country including the recent blasts in Bangalore and Ahmedabad.

The ban was first imposed on SIMI in 2001 under the Unlawful Activities (prevention) Act and since then it has been extended after every two years. The February 7 notification issued by the government was the fourth extension of the ban.




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