In the case of SDPI v/ District Collector and Ors a plea by the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) challenging the State government’s decision to seal its offices for violation of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).In response to a Central government notification that the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its affiliates were prohibited, the State government sealed the PFI’s offices in Mangalore after determining that PFI was conducting business from these locations. SDPI then filed a court petition.
The offices of SDPI were shut, according to Additional Advocate General Aruna Shyam M, because the former’s operations were closely related to those of PFI. Additionally, he contended that the petitioners had a different legal option available to them before a district judge under the requirements of UAPA, and he asked the Court to transfer the case to a lower court.
The petitioners’ attorney, Mohammed Tahir, emphasised that SDPI was not listed among the organisations that were determined to be PFI allies. He argued that it was unlawful for the State government to search and seal PDFI’s offices. He maintained that the State could not have gone beyond the boundaries outlined in the notification.
The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) appealed the State government’s decision to seal its offices for breaking the Unlawful Activities (Prevention Act) (UAPA), but the Karnataka High Court Single bench Justice M Nagaprasanna dismissed the case. Because the notifications to seal the party’s offices were issued by Section 8 of the UAPA, the party had an additional remedy before a district judge.
The court said that The State Government exercised its authority under Section (8) of the Act’s subsections (3) and (4) when it issued the notifications to seal the petitioner’s property, the court ruled. Due to the particular conditions of this case, the petitioner has an alternative remedy that is statutory and must be used since it is essential to record evidence of the State’s actions.
After noting that the petitioners had a backup plan in place, the Court made it clear that the mere existence of a backup plan did not rule out the validity of the writ petition. However, the Court dismissed the plea, giving SDPI the freedom to present its arguments before a district judge because the case required the recording of evidence for the State’s actions.