Hours after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) carried out searches at 10 premises of the banned Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) in Mumbai, Zakir Naik’s lawyer on Saturday said that case filed against him and his organisation was illegal.
""Earlier in the year 2012 an FIR was registered by the office bearers of some organisation against Zakir Naik under section 153 A and in response we filed a petition in the Supreme Court and the court granted stay to all those proceedings in the FIR. So fresh FIR for the same offence is not maintainable in law so they cannot be two FIR for one offence," said Mobin Solkar, Zakir Naik's Lawyer.
He further maintained that from 2012 till date, Dr. Naik has not given any lecture which can be a cause of action for filing a fresh FIR against him.He, however, conceded that the investigative agency is entitled to search and visit the premises of the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), owned by Naik, and the organisation would comply with all the investigative processes carried out by the NIA.
"The NIA, irrespective of the legality of the FIR, is empowered to investigate the matter and they are carrying out their investigation and we are ready to cooperate as far the investigation is concerned. IRF has been a law abiding trust and we are ready to fully cooperate with the investigative agency,” Solankar said.
Earlier on Saturday, NIA carried out searches at 10 premises of the banned Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) in Mumbai after registering a case against its founder Zakir Naik and others under an anti-terror law.
The searches began this morning with the help of local police after a case was registered by the NIA’s Mumbai branch last night under 153-A of IPC (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion...and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and various sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The action by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) came barely a few days after the Union Cabinet declared IRF as a banned organisation under UAPA.
IRF came under the scanner of various security agencies after one of the terrorists involved in the Dhaka cafe attack had allegedly posted on social media that they had been inspired by Naik's speeches.
Some of the youths from Mumbai suburbs, who had left their home to join Islamic State earlier this year, were also allegedly inspired by the preacher.
The speeches of Naik, who is currently out of the country apparently to evade arrest, are banned in the UK and Canada as well as in Malaysia.