UAPA case against PFI members: SC agrees to hear NIA’s plea against HC order grating bail to eight accused

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear on October 30 a plea by the NIA challenging the Madras High Court order granting bail to eight accused in a case registered under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against the alleged office bearers, members and cadres of Popular Front of India (PFI).

In its plea, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has claimed PFI is a fundamentalist Islamic organisation and it was formed only to achieve the “dangerous goal” of ‘Vision India 2047’ to establish Muslim rule in India governed by Sharia law.

The plea was mentioned for urgent listing before a bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sudhanshu Dhulia and Manoj Misra.

Advocate Rajat Nair, appearing for NIA, urged the apex court to list the matter for hearing during the day, saying the high court had granted bail to the eight accused on Thursday.

“Somebody has got bail. What is the hurry?” the bench asked him.

When Nair said the special leave petition (SLP) was prepared overnight to challenge the high court order and requested the court to pass suitable direction, the bench fixed the petition for hearing on October 30.

“The petitioner, Union of India (NIA) is constrained to file the present special leave petition against the final order and judgment passed by the High Court of judicature at Madras whereby, the high court in a serious offence registered against the PFI members under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, was pleased to grant bail ,” the plea said.

It said the FIR was registered against the office bearers, members and cadres of PFI which had been spreading the extremist ideology across Tamil Nadu by establishing state headquarters at Purasaiwakkam, Chennai, and also offices in various districts of Tamil Nadu through their alleged frontal organisations like Campus Front of India, National Women’s Front, Social Democratic Party of India etc.

The petition said alleged PFI members had conspired for committing acts of terror, recruited members for furthering their extremist ideology and imparted training to commit terrorist activities, organised mass drills for displaying their might by gathering their members in combat uniforms, intending that participants shall be trained to use criminal force for violence against other religious communities to spread fear or alarm or insecurity.

“It is respectfully submitted that the leaders/cadres of PFI had formed the organisation only to achieve a dangerous goal of ‘Vision India 2047’, that is to make this country ruled by Muslims as per sharia law,” it said.

As an interim relief, the NIA urged the apex court to grant an ex-parte interim stay on the operation of the high court’s order during the pendency of its plea.

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The petition said, “The high court also fell into patent and manifest error when it recorded that prosecution has failed to establish through any material, the real objectives of the organisation or the motive behind the establishment of PFI .”

It said in this case, there are categorical statements available on record which demonstrate that beer bottles with water were used as “dummy bombs” to do target practice.

The plea claimed tactical weapons training was being imparted and there was evidence on record which showed that PFI cadres where influenced, brainwashed and indoctrinated by the accused.

“All the acts were done by the accused in an effort to raise an armed militia to take up the fight for usurping and violating the sovereignty and integrity of the country,” it alleged.

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