The Centre has set up a tribunal to adjudicate whether or not there is sufficient reason to impose a ban on pro-Khalistan group Sikhs For Justice, which was declared as an unlawful organisation last month. While imposing the ban, the Union Home Ministry had said the group's primary objective is to establish an "independent and sovereign country" in Punjab and it openly espouses the cause of Khalistan and in that process, challenges the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India.
- Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 5 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967), the central government hereby constitutes an Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal, consisting of Mr Justice D N Patel, Chief Justice, High Court of Delhi, for the purpose of adjudicating whether or not there is sufficient cause of declaring the Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) as an unlawful association, a notification issued by the Home Ministry said.
- Such a tribunal is constituted under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) to give an opportunity to the banned entity to present its case but is usually a no-show.
- The US-based Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) pushes for Sikh Referendum 2020 as part of its separatist agenda.
- The fringe organisation, run by a few radical Sikhs of foreign nationality in the US, Canada, the UK, etc., was declared unlawful under the provisions of Section 3(1) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
- The SFJ is mostly active in online platforms and has more than two lakh supporters but physical presence is miniscule, with just eight to 10 active members.
- Paramjeet Singh Pamma, an active member of the SFJ, recently attended a cricket world cup match, where he had raised anti-India slogans.
- The SFJ is also planning to conduct a Khalistan referendum on pilgrims who would visit the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara in Pakistan in the future.