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Justice Kait Tribunal on SIMI: A critical update

15 Aug 2015

On July 30, 2014 Justice Kait headed SIMI Tribunal upheld the ban after examining 21 cases, 18 of which were “fresh cases” and examining 30 state officials in “support of the ban” and concluded that: “the evidence brought on record clearly and unambiguously establishes that despite being banned since 27th September, 2001, except for a brief period in between, the SIMI activists are associating, meeting, conspiring, acquiring arms & ammunitions, and indulging in activities which are disruptive in character and capable of threatening the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India. They are in regular touch with their associates and masters based in other countries. Their actions are capable of disrupting peace and communal harmony in the country. Their stated objectives are contrary to the laws of our country. Especially their object of establishing Islamic rule in India can, under no circumstances, be permitted to subsist.” [para 255 of the Order].(Italics added).

Our fears over Judicial Tribunal are once again borne out by Justice Kait’s Order. For one “evidence” in an adjudication is a flexible category and rigour required for considering anything as ‘evidence’ in a criminal court are made elastic. We invite readers to refer to p 26-28 of our report [Banned and Damned: SIMIs Saga With UAPA Tribunals”; PUDR June 2015]. The ‘evidence’ comprised testimonies of Police Witnesses who are not the Investigating Officer but senior Police officers not conversant with “details (see point 12 below), confidential intelligence reports from the states, information on Front Organizations, ban notifications and ratifications from 2001 onwards, and an illegal category “banned” literature. Much of this evidence is also based on “confessions” in Police custody, which criminal justice rejects but is upheld under Civil Law. Such infirm ‘evidence’ is yet again invoked to uphold the ban which strikes at a fundamental right to form association/union.

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