The Banning Business


Cong for ban on Sanatan” says a news in Navhind Times (24th Oct). The news provides some valuable insights into the minds of legislator with respect to what they think of Sanatan Sanstha, a hindu religious organization which has come in news after the blasts in Margao last week.

Mr. Alexio Sequera the power minister had some gems of his wit.

He further said that it was fortunate that the police could immediately detect the linkage between the blast and the Sanatan Sanstha; otherwise, “I believe everybody would have tried to point fingers at the “innocent” Muslims”. With prompt detection the communal harmony that prevailed in the state was maintained, he said. [Empasis mine]

Unfortunately for congress, there is no way to ban any organization just because they think it should be banned. The “Preventon of Unlawful Activities 1967” law is what needs to be followed. Mr. Shantaram Naik, has figured out how this law can be used against Sanatan.

Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member, Mr Shantaram Naik, told The Navhind Times on Friday that before any exercise on banning Sanatan Sanstha was undertaken by the government the main office-bearers, directors, trustees, of the institution should be arrested and prosecuted under Sections 153A, 153B, 295A, 298, 383, 403, 415, 504 and other sections of the Indian Penal Code.
Responding to a question on what was his opinion on banning the organisation, Mr Naik said that banning of the institution was done under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. This act has recently been amended and has been made more stringent.
Mr Naik, however, said that priority of the government should be to direct the police to file criminal prosecutions against key figures working in the institution, based on the records available regarding violence and communal hatred preached by the institution openly.
He further said that if the activities of the institution were examined, with the help of their propaganda material, periodicals, newspapers and websites, the police machinery could easily file not less than 100 charge-sheets, based on their writings alone.

This interests me. If Sanatan is found responsible all sort of legal action must be taken against it. But the point is there are so many other organization that too should be treated in the same fashion and with same urgency the government has been showing. NCP can top the list. Convince yourself by reading this.

But it is logic of Mr. Naik that surprises me. The law clearly marks what is called “unlawful activities”. The clause is

1[ ” unlawful association” means any association-

(i) which has for its object any unlawful activity, or which encourages or aids persons to undertake any unlawful activity, or of which the members undertake such activity; or
(ii) which has for its object any activity which is punishable under section 153A or section 153B of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860 ), or which encourages or aids persons to underta- ke any such activity, or of which the members undertake any such activity: Provided that nothing contained in sub- clause (ii) shall apply to the State of Jammu and Kashmir.]
Which means the office bearers of the organization, if they do something that can be punished under the above mentioned sections, you can describe the association as unlawful. Mr. Naik’s logic however though is very interesting. He first wants to ban the organization, but it can not be banned unless you have a valid reason to ban it. Hence arrest it’s office bearers invoking the above mentioned sections. Then ban the organization.While arresting them the reason to arrest them, and to invoke the above sections is purely “organization needs to be banned and this is a pre-requisite”. This is a clear case of how the law can be molested for the ruling party’s interest. While NDA enacted POTA this was the reservation that the Congress Party had, that it will be used against Muslims. However the party must be now happy that they can use UAL(P) in defending innocent Muslims.
However from the news reports I am of opinion that the Congress government will not be able to prove any accusations against the office bearers. Hence even if they ban sanatan it may not stand well in the house of court. The delay in making the decision probably is only due to this factor and nothing else.
Other side of the story is that, whenever there are any terror activities, Congress leader always claim “Terror has no religion”. But this time around Mr. Alex’s argument show that he is infact very pleased that “innocent muslims” can not accused of the conspiracy. The big question before me is, if Sanatan is a hindu organization, why would it plan for blasts in a Hindu festival itself ? Worst their own man dies in this. News that the bomb exploded while carrying it or while planting it doesnt sound credible.
In ideal case the government’s efforts should have been directed towards investigating the truth from all possible aspects. But as usual the government is busy using this incident as an parity to Islamic Terror that is holding our country at ransom, by playing votebank politics. The worst , the law is being raped while doing so.

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