The Delhi High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition moved by the Kashmiri women outfit Dukhtaran-E-Millat (DeM) challenging the notification by the Central government declaring it as a banned terrorist organisation under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Dukhtaran-E-Millat is of the separatist organisation All Parties Hurriyat Conference led by Asiya Andrabi in the Kashmir Valley and was declared a terrorist organisation on December 30, 2004, by the Central Government.
On Thursday, the Bench of Justice Anish Dayal dismissed the plea and said Petitioner’s organization has another remedy available, which was not exercised.
Earlier, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Chetan Sharma representing Central Government had raised the issue of maintainability of the petition and sought dismissal of it with cost. During arguments, he submitted that declaring an organization/group a terrorist organization is the prerogative of the Central Government.
The outfit has sought quashing of the said notification through which it was declared unlawful under section 3 of UAPA and declared a terrorist organisation under section 2 (1)(M) of UAPA, 1967.
In the petition moved through advocate Nisha Narayan and Shariq Iqbal, the outfit has also sought a direction to the Centre to provide a copy of the notification banning the petitioner or a notification declaring it to be a terrorist organization.
It has also sought a direction to the Centre to remove the petitioner from the list of the banned organization under UAPA.
Senior Advocate Satish Tamata counsel for the petitioner earlier submitted that after coming to know for the first time that the petitioner has been declared as a banned organization under UAPA, 1967, one of the members of the petitioners moved an RTI application seeking details of the ban.
Thereafter, a reply was received from CPIO on May 13, 2019, that the petitioner was added to the first Schedule of UAPA, 1967 through a notification of December 30, 2004, and no other information is available with them.
The appeal preferred against the RTI reply was dismissed by Joint Secretary, (CTCR) First Appellate Authority on July 19, 2019, the senior counsel submitted.
On the other hand, ASG Chetan Sharma challenged the maintainability of the writ petition. He submitted that the petitioner organization appears to be feigning ignorance and wrongly seeks the indulgence of this Court on the basis of the reply to the RTI application in the year 2019.
It was submitted that notification relating to the petitioner organization which is a terrorist organization is covered under Chapter VI of UAPA, 1967 and a reference to Chapter II has been wrongly made on behalf of the petitioner.
It was contended by the ASG that the petition could not be entertained after a delay of about two decades, since the petitioner organization stands duly reflected in the First Schedule of UAPA, 1967 at Serial No. 29. Further, no such presumption can be made that the petitioner was unaware of the Act of the Parliament, Sharma submitted. (ANI)