Though the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre put a ban on Students? Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) in February this year, it has not stopped one of the party'ssenior leaders from vigorously opposing the ban in the Supreme Court.
Uttar Pradesh Congress president Salman Khurshid represented the group?widely suspected alongwith Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) for Tuesday's(July 11) serial blasts in Mumbai?in the Supreme Court.
Khurshid, a senior SC lawyer, argued against the Centre'sorder to put an immediate ban on the organisation.
The SIMI has, however, withdrawn the petition.
The UPA had set up a one-judge tribunal headed by Delhi High Court judge B N Chaturvedi to adjudicate whether there was sufficient ground to justify the ban.
The tribunal has since held hearings in Maharashtra, Kerala, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi.
Almost all these states, including Maharashtra, have alleged SIMI'slinks with LeT, Hizbul Mujahideen (HuM) and other fundamentalist outfits in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and West Asian countries.
In its 11-page-long affidavit filed by Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) ACP Datta Sambhaji Dhawale in May this year, the Maharashtra Government said, ?SIMI, alongwith LeT, is continuously engaged in unlawful activities to cause damage to national sovereignty, integrity and religious harmony in India.?
When contacted for his comments on the SIMI'salleged involvement in the Mumbai blasts, Khurshid said, ?Police have their job cut out. They, alongwith the judiciary, have to decide on the case.?
Asked if he is comfortable representing in court an organisation allegedly behind terror attacks, he said he finds nothing wrong in it.
?We cannot hold any person or outfit guilty in advance. It is up to the judiciary. We as leaders are not competent to pronounce anyone guilty or not guilty,? Khurshid told Mumbai Mirror.