Probe sought against ‘Justice for Madhani Forum’

via N V Ravindranathan Nair - published on March 20, 2011

KOLLAM: In what appears to be an initiative to sensitise the public against the misuse of religious institutions for promoting political activity, a person from Kochi has approached the CBI seeking an investigation into the violation of Religious Institutions (Prevention of Misuse) Act 1988 by ‘Justice for Madhani Forum’ which is aiding jailed PDP chairman Abdul Nassar Madhani ”to wage legal and political battle.”

T G Mohandas of Shanti Nagar Colony, Koovappadam, Kochi, is planning to move the High Court seeking a directive to the CBI to conduct an investigation as his request in this regard to the CBI has not been considered so far. Mohandas, in his complaint to the CBI on February 14, 2010, submitted that Justice for Madhani Forum, with Sebastian Paul as chairman, had announced that they would collect money from all masjids on September 3, 2010, for aiding Madhani to “wage legal and political battle.” The Forum officebearers, who conducted a press conference here on August 25, 2010, also made this announcement.

He pointed out that ”collection or distribution of money for political purposes from religious institutions is specifically prevented by the said Act.”

“As a law abiding citizen, I thought of bringing this brazen violation of the Act to the attention of the authorities concerned. Moreover, this offence has interstate ramifications also,” he said.

He had earlier submitted complaints in this regard to the Kollam East police, Kollam SP, City Police Commissioner, Kochi, and Ernakulam SP. But no action was initiated on his complaint, he said.

Instead, the Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Kochi, had reportedly harassed him to withdraw the complaint.

He later approached the higher officials seeking action against the ACP.

“Even the Supreme Court has recently observed that under the current circumstances, the law abiding citizen of the country feels about himself as a fool, while hearing a case pertaining to the granting of land to the Kushabhao Thackaray Foundation for Re one by the Government of Madhya Pradesh,” he said.

Mohandas said that exhorting the faithful during the Friday congregation on September 3 to dole out money to help Justice for Madhani Forum must have created hatred among large number of people towards the system.

He said that Religious Institutions (Prevention of Misuse) Act in its section 2 (d) defines political activity as one which includes any activity promoting or propagating any cause, issue or question of a political nature…, by collection or disbursement of funds or by issue of directions or decree or by other means.

The exhibits produced along with his complaints include an advertisement appeared in Thejus daily asking the subscribers to send in funds to a bank account with the State Bank of India (SBI), Karunagappally branch.

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