Jama'at ban: Tribunal examines 2 official witnesses

The Tribunal headed by Justice Chander Shekhar of Delhi High Court on Friday concluded its three day proceedings conducted here with regard to the ban on socio-religious organization Jamaat-e-Islami, Jammu and Kashmir.    

 The Tribunal concluded the in-camera proceedings it held on 19, 20 and 21 June at Srinagar wing of the High Court and recorded statements of two ‘protected witnesses’ produced by the Government of India.  The Tribunal will now conduct the proceeding at Delhi High Court on June 29.

“Two protected witnesses produced be the central Government deposed before the Tribunal.  But no public witness deposed before it during last three days,” a source privy to the proceedings said. “A public witness presented himself before the Tribunal but the Tribunal said it will decide on the veracity of the affidavit which he has submitted only after hearing the parties on June 29 during the proceedings at Delhi High Court”.  

The presiding officer has directed the Union Government to produce at least three witnesses on June 29 during its proceeding at Delhi High Court.  

 While Additional Solicitor General of India, Sanjay Jain, appeared on behalf of Government of India, advocate Rajat Kumar along with advocate Syed Mehraj Azim represented Jamat-e-Islami. 

 In an order on February 28 this year, the Government of India banned the socio-religious organisation. The ban order, issued by the Union Home Ministry had said that Jama’at has been “indulging in activities which are prejudicial to internal security and public order and has potential of disrupting the unity and integrity of the country”.

On March 25, Mehraj Azeem, an ex-member of Jama’at petitioned High Court against the ban.  “The government of India declared JeI J&K as unlawful association with immediate effect without specifying the grounds as is mandated under Section 3(2) of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967,” Azeem said in his plea.

The Court has directed Union Ministry of Home Affairs to respond to the petition by April 22.