High Court Rejects SDPI’s Petition to Unseal its Offices
The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) has had its petition to unseal its offices rejected by the high court. The party had sought a direction to have its offices unsealed, but the court observed that SDPI has an alternative remedy available before the district judge under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
Last year, the central government issued a notification under section 3(1) of UAPA, banning Popular Front of India (PFI), its associates and affiliates or fronts. The following day, the state government issued a notification directing authorities to search and seal office premises of SDPI at various locations across Mangaluru and Dakshina Kannada district.
SDPI, a registered political party, had argued that it was not one of the entities which were declared to be associates of PFI. It argued the very act of the government searching and sealing its offices was contrary to law. However, the state government contended that the activities of the petitioner are directly linked to the banned organization (PFI). The government also contended that there is an alternative remedy stated in the notification itself which is in tune with the UAPA Act.
After considering the rival submissions, Justice M Nagaprasanna said the government’s notifications to seal the premises of the petitioner are under the exercise of power under sub-sections (3) and (4) of section (8) of UAPA. “Therefore, the petitioner has an alternative remedy which is statutory and necessarily to be availed of. In the peculiar facts of this case, recording of evidence for the acts of the state is imperative. In the teeth of the aforesaid facts which undoubtedly require evidence, I decline to entertain the petition, reserving liberty to the petitioner to urge all these contentions before the district judge who is empowered to consider the issues under the Act itself,” the judge said.
Justice Nagaprasanna noted that the state’s contention is that the sealed offices were being used by the banned organization. “Therefore, it forms a seriously disputed question of fact,” the judge stated. “Merely because only the offices in Mangaluru were sealed does not mean that evidence would not be required for the petitioner to prove its case in terms of Section 8 of the Act.”
The decision of the high court to reject SDPI’s petition to unseal its offices highlights the need for political parties to adhere to the law and regulations set out by the government. In cases where a party feels that it has been wrongly accused, there are alternative remedies available that must be pursued. The UAPA Act provides a framework for dealing with such situations, and parties must utilize the provisions of the Act to seek justice.
The decision also highlights the importance of evidence in such cases. The state’s contention that the sealed offices were being used by the banned organization forms a seriously disputed question of fact. Merely sealing the offices does not absolve the party of any wrongdoing. Evidence must be presented to prove or disprove the state’s contention. Therefore, parties must be prepared to gather and present evidence to support their case.
In conclusion, the high court’s decision to reject SDPI’s petition to unseal its offices serves as a reminder to political parties to follow the law and regulations set out by the government. It also emphasizes the importance of evidence in such cases and the need for parties to gather and present evidence to support their case. The UAPA Act provides a framework for dealing with such situations, and parties must utilize the provisions of the Act to seek justice.
- Karnataka High Court
- Legal remedy
- Bengaluru news
- Court ruling
News Source : TNN
Source Link :Karnataka HC rejects SDPI’s plea, cites remedy | Bengaluru News/