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Tribunal on extending SIMI ban commences proceedings

Tribunal on extending SIMI ban commences proceedings

New Delhi: A tribunal headed by a Delhi High Court judge commenced proceedings on Thursday to ascertain whether there was sufficient cause to extend the ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) as an unlawful association.

The tribunal presided by Justice Mukta Gupta issued a general notice informing the public at large and the organisation in question to approach it with any material in support of or against the Centre's decision to extend the ban on SIMI.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Pinky Anand and advocate Balendu Shekhar appeared for the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which had on February 21 issued a notification setting up the tribunal under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. Shekhar said the tribunal commenced proceedings on Thursday by issuing notice to the public at large and the organisation in question and the next date of hearing was April 15. He added that hearings would also be held in other states where cases against SIMI have been registered.

The February 21 notification constituting the tribunal was issued after the five-year ban on SIMI ended on January 31. "In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 5, read with sub-section (1) of section 4 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, the central government hereby constitutes the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal consisting of Justice Mukta Gupta, Judge, High Court of Delhi, for the purpose of adjudicating whether or not there is sufficient cause for declaring the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) as an unlawful association," it had stated.

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