Acquittal of alleged SIMI activists: SC to hear plea

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose refused to stay the Kerala High Court's judgement of April 12, 2019. (PTI File Photo)

The Supreme Court on Monday admitted separate appeals filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) against the acquittal of five persons for holding a meeting of banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) at Panayikulam in Aluva in 2006.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose refused to stay the Kerala High Court's judgement of April 12, 2019.

The court, however, agreed to a plea by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to post the special leave petitions along with a pending matter related to reconsideration of landmark judgement of 2011 in 'Arup Bhuyan Vs State of Assam' by Justice Markandey Katju (since retired) which stated the mere membership in a banned terrorist organisation would not be an offence unless accompanied by violence or incitement to offence.

The judgement is pending reconsideration before a three-judge bench on a plea by the Centre made in 2016.

On Monday, hearing appeals by the NIA, the court issued notices to the accused persons Abdul Rasik and others as the Solicitor General contended the high court relied largely upon the Arup Bhuyan judgement to set them free.

The NIA court had sentenced them to 12 to 14 years of rigorous imprisonment for holding a secret meeting of the SIMI in 2006 and bringing seditious materials under various provisions of the IPC and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The high court, however, overturned the judgement on the plea by the accused that there was nothing to substantiate the meeting was organised by the SIMI.

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