Court sets endorsements for Zakir’s plea against IRF ban | India News

NEW DELHI: Fugitive evengealist Zakir Abdul Karim Naik, founder of the Islamic Research Foundation, must have his signature verified at the Indian Embassy in Malaysia before filing a vakalatnama in the legally constituted court on Illegal Activities (Prevention), which rules on the validity of the Center’s notification declaring IRF an illegal organization under UAPA.
The court headed by Delhi High Court Chief Justice D. N. Patel accepted the objections of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on behalf of the Center that the vakalatnama filed by Naik did not comply with the law enacted by the Supreme Court and nobody knows. whether the fugitive accused Naik’s signature on the vakalatnama was genuine. The SG said Naik is a fugitive and his vakalatnama was filed without proper verification, as considered by the Supreme Court in its 2006 judgment in the Uday Shankar Tiyar case.
Mehta’s claims went unanswered as IRF lawyer S Hari Haran admitted in court that Naik’s vakalatnama was not filed through the Indian Embassy and that he was unable to verify Naik’s signatures. The vakalatnama was signed by Naik and Naseer Riyasat Khan, both of whom describe themselves as administrators of the IRF.
The Tribunal, in its order, said: “In view of this fact, we hereby order Zakir Abdul Karim Naik to file his vakalatnama in accordance with the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Uday Shankar Tiyar. His vakalatnama ( will) be deposited through the Embassy of India in Malaysia after proper verification of its signatures.” He also asked IRF to file a detailed response by Feb. 9, while posting the Feb. 10 hearing. He asked the Union government to file the list of witnesses and the head of the examination before the next hearing date.
In the Tiyar case, the SC had expressed concern about the manner in which faulty Vakalatnamas are regularly filed in court. “Vakalatnama, a kind of power of attorney, is an important document, which permits and authorizes the litigant appearing for a litigant to do several acts as an agent, which bind the litigant who is the principal.”
The SC said: “It is a document that creates the special relationship between the lawyer and the client. It regulates and governs the scope of the delegation of authority to the litigant and the terms and conditions governing such delegation. It should therefore be properly completed/attested/accepted with care and caution. Obtaining the litigant’s signature on a blank Vakalatnama and filling it in afterwards should be avoided.”
The Center had assembled a team of seven member attorneys led by the Solicitor General to defend his November 15, 2021 notice imposing a new five-year ban under the UAPA on the IRF in the UAPA court. Other tips are – Sachin Datta, Amit Mahajan, Rajat Nair, Kanu Agrawal, Jay Prakash and Dhruv Pandey. The IRF was classified as an “unlawful association” under the UAPA on November 17, 2016 for a period of five years. The RFID ban was extended for another five years by a new notification issued on November 15.
The MHA, in its notification, had said that if the activities of the “illegal association” were not curbed, it would continue its subversive activities and reorganize its fugitive activists to create communal discord, spread anti-national sentiments and support the militancy.
The central government was of the view that the IRF and its members, in particular its founder and president Zakir Naik, were encouraging and assisting its followers to promote or attempt to promote, on grounds of religion, discord or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will between different communities and religious groups, detrimental to the integrity and security of the country. He referred to his statements and speeches saying that they were reprehensible and subversive, and added that Naik, through such speeches and statements, inspired young people of a particular religion in India and abroad, to commit terrorist acts. It must produce evidence before the Tribunal to justify the new notification.