Tablighi Jamaat: Delhi court dismisses 44 pleas by police against order discharging foreigners

New Delhi, November 19

A court here on Thursday dismissed 44 pleas filed by the Delhi Police challenging the order of the magistrate’s court by which the foreigners were discharged for the offences of attending Tablighi Jamaat congregation here by allegedly violating visa norms, malignantly spreading infection of disease dangerous to life and disobeying quarantine rules.

Additional Sessions Judge Sandeep Yadav said the revision petitions were devoid of merits.

The magistrate court had on August 24 framed charges against 36 foreigners under Sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3 (disobeying regulation) of Epidemic Act, 1897.

The charges were also framed under section 51 (obstruction) Disaster Management Act, 2005.

However, they were discharged for the offences under section 14 (1) (b) (violation of visa norms) of Foreigners Act, sections 270 (Malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 271 (Disobedience to quarantine rule) of the IPC.

The punishment for the offences for which they have been charged ranges from six months to eight years of imprisonment.

The police had filed revision petitions seeking framing of charges against the 36 foreigners for the offences for which they were discharged.

The police had also filed revision petitions against the order of the magistrate court by which eight foreign nationals from six countries were discharged of all charges under which they were charge sheeted in the absence of any record or any credible material against them.

The court said on Thursday in its similar orders passed on the revision petitions filed against the discharge of eight foreigners that the magistrate’s order “was well reasoned which did not call for interference”.

Advocates Ashima Mandla, Mandakini Singh and Fahim Khan, appearing for the foreigners, said none of them have admitted that they did preaching or Tablighi work and they have admitted to merely being a follower.

Mandla further submitted that there was no violation of any visa conditions.

Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Srivastava, appearing for the police, said the foreigners allegedly violated the visa conditions as tourist visa does not allow participation in Tablighi work.

The public prosecutor further argued that the foreigners had allegedly gone to the headquarters at Markaz and to different places also.

The court had on August 24 said there was no iota of evidence to suggest that the present accused had in any manner professed or propagated the principles and doctrines of the Tablighi Jamaat or had indulged in Tablighi work as alleged and discharged eight foreigners of all charges.

The 44 foreigners were charge sheeted for attending Tablighi Jamaat congregation here in March, allegedly in violation of visa norms, indulging in missionary activities illegally and violating government guidelines issued in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak. PTI



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