The Union Government on Tuesday, Aug 4 suffered a major setback when a single judge tribunal of the Delhi High Court lifted the ban on Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), an organisation facing allegations of involvement in several bomb blasts in the country. The tribunal found the evidence produced by the Union Home Ministry insufficient to justify the ban on SIMI. It may be noted here that SIMI was banned for the first time on September 27, 2001. The organisation had challenged in the Delhi High Court the extension of the ban imposed on February 7 this year.
The High Court in its order said an organisation cannot be banned on the basis of half-baked evidence and ordered lifting of the ban. ''The notification should tell what leads you to declare SIMI a banned organisation,'' Justice Geeta Mittal said in the exhaustive order numbering about 267 pages.
The order assumes significance as the Gujarat police is also suspecting the involvement of SIMI in Ahmedabad bomb blasts in which over 50 lives were lost and hundreds were injured. Over 20 bombs were detected and defused in Surat early this month.
Drawing parallel between Aarushi murder and SIMI being condemned, he argued how a shoddy investigation had botched up the Aarushi case, in the same way the investigating agencies found it easier not to probe properly and blame SIMI. ''More so when there is no list of SIMI members to conclusively establish who is not a member of the outfit,'' according to him.
However, the Union Home Ministry is going to challenge the High Court order in the Supreme Court within a day or two, Ministry sources said.
Strongly reacting to the Delhi High Court's decision to lift the ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) on Wednesday, Aug 6 blamed the Centre's ineptitude in providing sufficient proof to ban ''the organisation which believes in spreading violence''.
BJP Vice-President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, ''SIMI had been banned during the NDA regime between 2001-2003 after providing sufficient proof before the tribunal/court to uphold the ban.'' The Centre, Mr Naqvi said, had conceded SIMI's involvement in various serial blasts in Delhi, Mumbai and recently in Bangalore and Ahmedabad, and had deliberately withheld the proof against the organisation, thereby absolving the ban on the militant organisation.
''With the display of such collusive attitude, the BJP is constrained to infer that the Centre is hand in glove with the perpetrators of terror,'' Mr Naqvi alleged.