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HC asks Centre to submit report on Zakir Naik’s IRF ban


New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday asked the Union government to file a report on the plea of NRI televangelist Zakir Naik who has challenged the Centre’s decision to immediately ban NGO Islamic Research Foundation (IRF).

Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva asked the Centre to present the record relating to the imposition of ban on the organisation and fixed January 17 as the next date of hearing.

The court was hearing Naik’s plea challenging the November 2016 notification of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) which had imposed an immediate ban on the organisation for five years under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

The government had declared it as an “unlawful association” under the anti-terror laws.

IRF told the court that the MHA’s notification did not have sufficient reasons and materials for taking such a step and the ban was imposed without giving any show cause notice.

Meanwhile, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain informed the court that the “urgent step” was taken on apprehension that Indian youths could be “radicalised” or “motivated” by the speeches given by IRF and its members.

He opposed the plea and said that Naik had also made derogatory statements against other religions and was spreading communal disharmony.