The Centre has decided to challenge the Supreme Court (SC) verdict that mere membership of a banned organisation does not make a person criminal unless he resorts to or incites people to violence.
A highly placed source in the home ministry said the government would soon appeal before a bigger bench of the apex court as the judgement would have a serious bearing on the country’s internal security.
“We cannot wait to act till each individual member of a banned organisation commits violence or a criminal act,” the source said.
A division bench of justices Markandeya Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra had given this ruling in two different cases during the last fortnight.
The ruling has assumed significance in the face of various rights and social organisations mounting pressure for a relook over grant of life imprisonment to civil liberties activist Binayak Sen for acting as a courier to a Maoist leader jailed in Chattisgarh.
The source wondered as to how someone joining an organisation could be unaware about its charter.
Questioning the apex court judgement, the source said, “They have missed the point completely. We will appeal before a bigger bench and seek a redressal,” he added.
The government is non-plussed by the order which it felt would have far reaching consequences on all plans related to check the activities of organisations spreading hatred, violence or separatist feelings.
“How can we stop al-Qadea from opening an office in Delhi on a mere claim that they do not intend to spread violence,” another ministry official asked.