Immediate ban on PFI: Karnataka HC rejects plea against central government notification | Bengaluru News

BENGALURU: The Karnataka high court on Wednesday dismissed a petition challenging the notification dated September 28,2022 issued by the Central government whereby Popular Front of India (PFI) and its associated/ affiliates were declared to be an unlawful organization under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and bringing into force the said notification with immediate effect.

Dismissing the petition filed by Nasir Pasha, who claims to be a president of PFI, Justice M Nagaprasanna has noted that the Supreme court has also recorded that Article 19(4) requires that in the interest of sovereignty, integrity or public order or morality, the state can impose reasonable restriction on such right under Article 19(1)(c).
“Article 19(4) mandates that nothing in Article 19(1)(c) which deals with fundamental right to form Associations and Unions shall have the effect or prevent the State from making any law imposing, in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity or public order or morality reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the said right conferred by clause (c) of Article 19(1). The purport of Article 19(4) is that the government is empowered to impose reasonable restrictions even on the fundamental right under Article 19(1)(c) if it would harm the sovereignty, integrity, public order or morality. All that is found in the reasons recorded in the impugned notification.
Therefore, it is in compliance with sub-section (3) of Section 4 of the UAP Act qua the right of any organization in its freedom to establish any organization or unit under Article 19(1)(c) of the constitution” the judge has noted in his order. Dwelling further, Justice Nagaprasanna has pointed out that a perusal at the notification under challenge would indicate that reasons are present in the said notification itself.
“Article 19(1)(c) of the Constitution of India on which much emphasis is laid on is also hedged with reasonable restrictions to be imposed in certain circumstances under Article 19(4) of the Constitution of India. Therefore, in the light of the judgment rendered by the High Court of Delhi in the case of Islamic Research Foundation which was considering the case of Mohammad Jafar rendered by the Supreme Court and the fact that reasons are found in the impugned notification itself, I do not find any warrant that would entail interference at the hands of this court” the judge further observed in his order.
The judge has also added that any further consideration of the submissions made on behalf of the petitioner would prejudice the proceedings before the Tribunal.
The petitioner had claimed that his organisation is registered under Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960. According to him, he is aggrieved by the action of declaring PFI to be unlawful and sought intervention of the court vis-a-vis bringing the notification of declaration of PFI with immediate effect.
He contended that declaration of PFI to be unlawful under Section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 , the issue has been referred to the Tribunal constituted under Section 4 of the Act and the same is pending consideration.
He had argued that fundamental rights cannot be taken away by the stroke of a pen. On the other hand,the central government defended the notification, saying that reasons are available in the said notification -one declaring it to be unlawful and the other bringing it into effect immediately.

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