Press Trust of india

Govt sets up tribunal headed by Delhi HC judge to adjudicate if JKDFP should be declared banned group

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New Delhi: The Centre on Monday constituted a tribunal, headed by a judge of the Delhi High Court, for adjudicating if there is sufficient ground for declaring the Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP), headed by jailed separatist Shabir Ahmad Shah, as an unlawful organisation.

The Union Home Ministry on October 05 had declared JKDFP a banned group under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 for five years for its “anti-India” and “pro-Pakistan” activities.

In a notification, the home ministry said, “The central government hereby constitutes the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal consisting of Justice Sachin Datta, Judge, High Court of Delhi, for the purpose of adjudicating whether or not there is sufficient cause for declaring the Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP) as an unlawful association.”

Founded in 1998 by Shah, the JKDFP was a constituent of the separatist amalgam Hurriyat Conference.

After the division of the Hurriyat Conference in 2003, the JKDFP became a part of the hardline faction headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani then.

Shah is currently lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail. He was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on July 25, 2017, in a 2005 money laundering case.

He has also been chargesheeted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in a terror-funding case.

In November last year, the ED had attached his Srinagar house in connection with its money laundering probe linked to a case of fuelling terror activities in the Union territory.

While declaring JKDFP a banned organisation, the home ministry had said Shah called Kashmir a “dispute” and ruled out any settlement within the framework of the Constitution of India and the members of his party have been at the forefront of secessionist activities with an intention to create a separate Islamic state.

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