Delhi HC sets up Judicial Tribunal over banning Zakir Naik’s NGO- IRF

New Delhi [India], Feb. 6 : The Delhi High Court on Monday set up a Judicial Tribunal to look into banning Zakir Naik's NGO 'Islamic Research Foundation' (IRF) under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

A notice has also been issued to IRF to respond to a plea by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to hold in camera proceedings The National Investigation Agency has also filed three affidavits in sealed cover before the Court giving reasons for the ban on the IRF.

Today was the first hearing of the tribunal and the next hearing will be on February 20th. The Tribunal headed by Delhi High Court judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal is set to give an order on the schedule of hearings and whether proceedings to be held in closed courtroom on the next date.

The IRF, earlier moved a petition seeking directions against the ban imposed on it by the central government.

On November 15, the central government had banned the IRF for five years after declaring it as an "unlawful association" under the anti-terror laws, and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) followed up with raids on its premises in Mumbai on November 19.

According to the Home Ministry, Naik has allegedly made many provocative speeches and had engaged in terror propaganda.

The Maharashtra Police have also registered criminal cases against Naik for his alleged involvement in radicalisation of youths and luring them into terror activities, officials said.

He came under the scanner of the security agencies after Bangladeshi newspaper 'Daily Star' reported that one of the perpetrators of the July 1,2016 terror attack in Dhaka, Rohan Imtiaz, ran propaganda on Facebook in 2015 quoting Naik.

Last month, The Enforcement Directorate (ED) issued summons to Zakir Naik and the IRF under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The foundation had first come under the scanner after the terrorist responsible for Dhaka attack earlier this year, in an online post had said, that he was inspired by Naik's speeches.

Source: ANI