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PIL Seeking Ban On Sanatan Sanstha: Show Us The Procedure; Bombay HC Tells State and Centre

Nitish Kashyap
15 Feb 2020 2:50 PM GMT
PIL Seeking Ban On Sanatan Sanstha: Show Us The Procedure; Bombay HC Tells State and Centre
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The Bombay High Court asked the Centre on Thursday to submit on record the procedure followed in deciding an application seeking ban on an organisation for indulging in unlawful activities.

Division bench of Justice RV More and Justice SP Tavde was hearing a PIL filed by one Arshad Ali Ansari seeking directions to the Union Home Ministry and State of Maharashtra to ban Sanatan Sanstha.

More than three years ago, in another PIL filed by one Vijay Rokade, the Central government had told another bench headed by Chief Justice Naresh Patil (as he then was) that they did not find any material to pronounce the right-wing extremist group Sanatan Sanstha a 'terror organisation' under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

Under Section 35 of the UAPA, the Centre can impose a ban on an organisation and its activities, if it believes that such an organisation is involved in terrorist activities.

Ansari's PIL filed through Advocate Rajesh Khobragade, claims that the Sanstha is a terror outfit whose members have been involved in bombings in Panvel and Thane, hence, a ban must be imposed.

Men allegedly associated with the outfit are also accused in the murders of Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and MM Kalburgi. Virendra Tawde, who is an accused in the murder Case of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, was the western commander of the Hindu Janjagruti Samiti (HJS), a fringe of the Sanatan Sanstha. Sameer Gaikwad, who is a member of the Sanstha, is in jail for his alleged involvement in the murder of Govind Pansare, who was shot in Kolhapur last year.

Dabholkar was murdered in 2013 while Pansare and Kalburgi were killed in 2015.

State government told the Court that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs was the competent authority to decide on the issue, whereas it was submitted on behalf of the Union government, that the State government will have to first send a report on its findings on the right wing outfit, after which the MHA will look into the issue.

"Show us the procedure that is normally followed " the court said.

The next date of hearing is March 4.

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