The Centre in a Counter Affidavit filed before the Supreme Court has said that the object of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) of establishing Islamic rule in India can, under no circumstances, be permitted to subsist.

The Centre told the Supreme Court that the actions of the said organisation are capable of disrupting peace and communal harmony in the country and that their stated objectives are contrary to the laws of the country.

The Apex court has been hearing a batch of pleas on the ban imposed on SIMI and the matter had came up for hearing today before a Bench of Justice S.K. Kaul, Justice A.S. Oka, and Justice J.B. Pardiwala.

The counter affidavit filed by Advocate Arvind Kumar Sharma on behalf of the Centre submits, “… the evidence brought on record clearly and unambiguously establishes that despite being banned since 27th September, 2001, except for a brief period in between, the SIMI activists are associating, meeting, conspiring, acquiring arms & ammunitions, and indulging in activities which are disruptive in character and capable of threatening the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India. They are in regular touch with their associates and masters based in other countries. … their object of establishing Islamic rule in India can, under no circumstances, be permitted to subsist.”

Advocate Rajat Nair appearing for the Centre informed the Court today that they have submitted a counter affidavit in response to the petitions filed in this matter and that the ban on SIMI is continuing and the petitioners have challenged its imposition and subsequent extensions.

On the other hand, the counsel appearing for the petitioners submitted before the Bench that they would be examining the counter affidavit being filed by the Centre.

The Centre via the counter affidavit said, “SIMI aims to utilize students and youths in the propagation of Islam religion and mobilise support for 'Jehaad'. It aims at achieving Shariat based Islamic rule through 'Islamic Inqualab'. It does not believe in the nation state, therefore, it also does not believe in the constitution or the secular order. It regards Idol worship as a sim and its holy duty to end such worship.”

It is also submitted by the Centre that SIMI aims to utilize students and youth in the propagation of Islam and obtain support for ‘Jehaad’ and that the organization also emphasizes on the formation of “Shariat” based Islamic rule through “Islami Inqalab”.

“The organization does not believe in the nation state, as well as in the Constitution, or the secular order; it regards idol worship as a sin and its holy duty to end it. The financial position of SIMI is said to be sound. Its resources are through donation, membership fee and financial assistance provided from time to time by supporters from Gulf countries”, the Centre further pointed out.

The Centre said that SIMI has contacts in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, and Nepal and being a group of students and youth, SIMI is easily influenced by hard-core Muslim terrorist organizations operating from within the country and abroad and therefore, the Fundamentalist/terrorist outfits like Pakistan based Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba have successfully penetrated into the SIMI Cadres to achieve their goals.

The counter affidavit further says, “SIMI has been active in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and National Capital Territory of Delhi. However, the presence of SIMI activities has also been noticed in the States of Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand. SIMI is known to have launched a country-wide campaign since November 1996 to mobilize support for the so-called Caliphate (Rule of Islam) for the Muslim community. SIMI is against Indian nationalism and has the aim to replace it with the International Islamic Order.”

It is also submitted by the Centre that since the ban, SIMI is carrying out its activities under the garb of cover organizations in several states of the country.

“Many SIMI cadres have regrouped under several names including ‘Wahadat-e-Islami’ in Tamil Nadu; ‘Indian Mujahideen’ in Rajasthan, Karanataka, Gujarat , Andhra Pradesh and Delhi; ‘Ansarullah’ in Karanataka; ‘Muslim Muttahida Mihad’ in Uttar Pradesh; in Madhya Pradesh ‘Wahadat-e-Ummat;’ ‘Nagarik Adhikar Suraksha Manch’ in West Bengal;. It is stated that one ‘Karuna Foundation’ in Kerala, in fact, was used by ex-SIMI members to counter threats against Islam. One other organization by the name ‘Amanat Foundation’ also showed pro-SIMI leanings”, the counter affidavit said.

It further said that SIMI came into existence on April 25, 1977, in Aligarh as a front organisation of youth and students having faith in the Jamait-e-Islami-Hind (JEIH) and, that in 1993, it declared itself an independent organisation.

The Centre submitted that there are the following objectives of SIMI:

i) Governing of human life on the basis of Quran;

ii) Propagation of Islam;

iii) “Jehaad” (religious war) for the cause of Islam;

iv) Destruction of Nationalism and establishment of Islamic Rule or Caliphate

The Centre said, “… in the present SLP, the Petitioner has challenged the order dated 29.7.2019 passed by Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal published in the Notification No. SO 3083(E) dated 27th August, 2019 and seek special leave to appeal against the said order.”

It is pointed out by the Centre that the constitution of SIMI in sum and substance not only disclaims, questions, and intends to disrupt the sovereignty and integrity of the country but also causes disaffection against India and the Constitution of India.

The counter affidavit has sought the dismissal of the petition and said, “… the petitioners have failed to make out a case justifying interference by this Hon’ble Court for seeking the quashing of the order dated 29.7.2019 passed by the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal constituted vide notification No. 3083 (E) dated 27.8.2019 confirming the Ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India as an Unlawful Association under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967.”

It further submitted that the SIMI and its activists are continuing to indulge in unlawful activities and that the Central Government has sufficient credible material and grounds for taking action under sub-section (1) of Section 3 of the Act for declaring SIMI as an Unlawful Association.

On January 31, 2019, the Ministry of Home Affairs vide a notification, extended the ban imposed on SIMI for five years.

The organisation was first banned in the year 2001. Since then, such ban has been extended regularly and it was for the eighth time that the ban was extended.

Cause Title- Humam Ahmad Siddiqui v. Union Of India

Click here to read/download the Counter Affidavit