"The decision by the Union of India was taken in the interest to safeguard the sovereignty, integrity and national security of India," Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said.
The court also agreed with the government contention that the order was made after "application of mind" as there was apprehension that youths could be "radicalised" to join terror groups. It said that the government has produced material before it to back its decision to immediately impose the ban on the organisation.
The government had told the court, which had reserved the verdict on February 1 on IRF's plea against the order to immediately ban the organisation, that it has enough material in its possession to take action against the foundation. The Centre had also produced before the court the files and materials available with the government on the basis of which the decision was made.
The NGO, in its plea, had challenged the November notification of the Union Home Ministry which had imposed an immediate ban on the organisation under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Upholding the Centre's notification, the judge said the government has given reasons for their step and it is wrong to say that no detail reasons were communicated to them before banning.
Meanwhile, the high court made it clear that the tribunal, set up under the UAPA, shall not be influenced by the findings of this judgement and decide the issue on merit.
Countering the Centre's stand, IRF's counsel had also said that whatever has been done by a person in his or her individual capacity does not mean that an organisation can be banned. "IRF is not an accused in the case and the crime reported against Mr Naik is of 2012-2013," the counsel had said, adding, "Why action has been taken after such a long time? Is this the way the government applies its mind?"
The Centre had earlier told the high court that according to the notification, Mr Naik was also accused of making statements which were "derogatory of other religions" and thus, "spreading communal disharmony". It had said that Mumbai Police had already lodged a First Information Report against six others of IRF on a complaint by the father of a Kerala-based youth who joined ISIS. It had said that some terrorists and ISIS sympathisers arrested by the authorities have claimed "they were inspired by the statements made by IRF".
IRF had contended that dates or contents of the alleged speeches and statements have not been mentioned in the notification. It had said that it was limiting its plea to the immediate ban and not raising the issue of freezing of its accounts under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act.
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