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SC Shakes up Suspected Extremists: PFI Bail Overturned

Delhi: On Wednesday, May 22, the Supreme Court made a significant decision to overturn a ruling of the Madras High Court granting bail to eight suspected members of the banned extremist organization, Popular Front of India (PFI). The accused were charged with conspiring and collecting funds for committing terrorist acts across India. The vacation bench presided over by Justice Bela M. Trivedi stated that the bail granted by the High Court cannot be sustained in light of the severity of the offences and the evidence collected by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) during their investigation. This decision came in response to a special leave petition filed by the NIA.

The Supreme Court bench, which also included Justice Pankaj Mithal, emphasized that orders granting liberty must be scrutinized and overturned if found to be perverse. Last year, the Madras High Court had ordered the release of the eight accused due to lack of sufficient evidence against them.

However, upon further review, the Supreme Court found that the evidence collected does indeed justify the accusations against the appellants. The PFI, described as an extremist Islamic organization spreading its ideologies, was banned by the Centre in 2022 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. This decision by the Supreme Court serves as a reminder of the severity of terrorism and sends a strong message that those involved will not be granted bail easily.

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