The Kerala High Court has observed that Popular Front of India (PFI) and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) were "extremist organisations" but not banned. "No doubt, SDPI and PFI are extremist organisations indulging in serious acts of violence. All the same, those are not banned organisations," Justice K Haripal observed in a recent order while rejecting a plea seeking Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the killing of an RSS worker who was hacked to death in November last year in Palakkad.
Reacting to the court's adverse remarks against it, the SDPI said it would file a plea seeking to expunge those observations. "This is a very serious observation. Not a single investigation agency has made such remarks against SDPI so far. On what basis, the court made such an observation? The court's observations should be reasonable. Here, it did not happen," SDPI state president Muvattupuzha Ashraf Moulavi said.
Echoing the SDPI's views, the PFI said the court's observations against it were unjustifiable. In a Facebook post, state PFI leader CA Raoof said that they were not heard by the court before making such adverse observations. He said that the PFI was also planning to take the legal route to get those remarks expunged.
"Hearing the accused, when referring to them, is the basic lesson of administering justice. This has not taken place in this case, and so, this observation is null and void with regard to the parameters of natural justice," he said in the post.
Meanwhile, Sangh Parivar organisations welcomed the observations made by the court against PFI and SDPI, claiming that there was evidence to prove these outfits' "inhuman anti-national activities" in the country.
KP Sasikala, leader of Hindu Aikyavedi, said both PFI and SDPI should be banned. The governments should also make sure that they should not take another form and engage in extremist activities post the ban in the country, she said.
RSS worker A Sanjith (27) was hacked to death on November 15 last year while he was taking his wife to her workplace. Police later arrested several persons, including an officer-bearer of the PFI, in the case. In its May 5 judgement, the High Court said the Investigating Officer has denied the involvement of state level or national level leaders of the outfits in the commission of the crime.
"Merely for the reason that some of the culprits remain at large, CBI cannot be asked to conduct investigation. Here, the investigating agency does not appear to have special interest in the case or interested in shielding the culprits. In other words, partisan attitude could not be inferred," the court said.
Observing that the culprits involved in the crime have been identified and many of them have been arrested, the High Court said if investigation is handed over to the CBI, that would result in further delay in the proceedings. "It is not in public interest. That may also pave the way for raising demand by the accused persons for release on bail," the court said in the order.