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UAPA Tribunal upholds ban on Sikhs for Justice

ANI | Updated: Jan 09, 2020 14:58 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 9 (ANI): The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act Tribunal upheld Centre's decision to impose a ban on Sikh for Justice (SFJ) observing that the unlawful activities of the proscribed association are disruptive in character and is a threat to the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of India.
The Union Cabinet on July 10 declared "Sikhs for Justice (SFJ)" as an unlawful association under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act 1967. The SFJ had challenged this notification in UAPA Tribunal.
Centre said that SFJ is involved in anti-national and subversive activities in Punjab and elsewhere, and intended to disrupt the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India. It stated that SFJ is in close touch with the militant outfits and activists, and is supporting violent form of extremism and militancy in Punjab and elsewhere.
"The evidence brought on record also proves that the respondent Association (SFJ) is working in collusion with anti-India entities and forces to fulfill their objectives by indulging in unlawful activities. Thus, the Central Government had 'sufficient cause' to take action under Section 3(1) and 3(3) of the Act for declaring Sikhs For Justice as an 'unlawful association'," tribunal Judge, Justice DN Patel stated in the order.
"The Notification dated 10th July, 2019 issued by the Union of India under sub-sections (1) and (3) of Section 3 of the Act declaring Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) to be an 'unlawful association' is hereby confirmed," Justice Patel stated.
The Union Government examined twelve witnesses who have deposed about the activities of the association as well as the cases registered in India which are stated to have a direct connect with their handlers who are based abroad and are known members and sympathizers of the association, the tribunal mentioned.
It also noted that the witness has also proved the social media posts of the association where the respondent association (SFJ) has openly aligned itself to Referendum 2020 and has been proved to be the primary moving force behind the said Referendum, which has, at its core, the objective to disrupt the unity and integrity of India. The call for a referendum to cede a part of the territory of India in itself is a crime.
Referendum 2020 being propagated by the association is itself restricted and is an unlawful activity under the Act and does not have any sanction under any law, the tribunal stated.
"The evidence brought on record by the Union of India is stark and clear and the same has gone unchallenged despite the opportunity," observed the tribunal.
"The acts, utterances and social media posts attributed to SFJ and its activists and sympathizers, which have duly been provided on record, are divisive in character and are a pointer to a divisive mindset and a divisive intent. The only conclusion which can be read from the evidence brought on record and noted above is that the respondent Association has the sole objective to propagate and work against the interest of India by indulging in activities which threaten the sovereignty and integrity of India and are intended to cause disaffection against India," it stated (ANI)