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Delhi HC rejects SIMI pleas to de-seal office
Tuesday, March 16, 2010 08:07:22 PM, IANS
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New Delhi: The Student Islamic Movement of India’s (SIMI) plea to de-seal a south Delhi property housing its office was Tuesday rejected by the Delhi High Court, which said the request was “untenable in law”.
The building was sealed after the central government banned the outfit in 2001 for alleged involvement in terrorist activities.
Justice S. Muralidhar dismissed SIMI’s plea for de-sealing house number 151-C on Lane 9 in Zakir Nagar. He said: “Needless to say that as and when the declaration that the petitioner is an unlawful association ceases in accordance with law, the justification for the sealing of premises used by it will also cease.
“However, as long as the petitioner continues to be declared an unlawful association, no further justification is necessary to be shown for the premises used by it continuing to remain sealed,” he said.
The court rejected SIMI’s arguments that the organisation was banned but the sealing of the premises was not within the law.
He said: “There can be circumstances where a premises is used or occupied by persons who are themselves not members of the unlawful association which was using the premises for its activities. Such persons may have been using the premises either as a residence or for some other activity unrelated to the activity of unlawful association.
“But it is the unlawful association itself which is seeking the restoration to it of the premises which it admittedly was using for its activities, even while it continues to be declared to be an unlawful association. Such contention is untenable in law,” the court said.
Opposing the desealing plea, a home ministry director said that municipal records showed the house belonged to Habibullah Siddiqui and neither the SIMI nor its president Shahid Badar Falahi had any claim to the building.
Following the central government ban on the outfit in 2001, Falahi was arrested under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. Since then the office has remained locked.
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