Updated: December 15, 2020, 6:22:08 pm
A Delhi court on Tuesday acquitted all 36 foreigners on trial for allegedly violating Covid-19 guidelines by attending the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi’s Nizamuddin.
The Jamaat hit the news in March after Nizamuddin Markaz surfaced as a hotspot. Up to 955 foreigners have been charged by Delhi police with alleged visa violation, missionary activities and failure to comply with the government’s Covid guidelines.
A court in Delhi acquitted all 36 foreigners on trial for allegedly violating Covid-19 guidelines by attending the Tabligi Jamaat event in Nizamuddin. @ IndianExpress
– Anand Mohan (@mohanreports) December 15, 2020
As previously reported by The Indian Express, 44 members had decided to stand trial in Delhi, despite the fact that the majority of Tablighi Jamaat foreign members had reached plea agreements and traveled to their countries. The court had previously dismissed eight of them and found that there was “no prima facie evidence” against them.
The court had also dismissed the remainder of the 36 under Section 14 of the Foreigners Act and IPC Sections 270 and 271. However, they continued to be indicted under the Epidemic Act, Disaster Management Act, and other sections of the IPC.
Upon dismissing the eight nationals, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Gurmohina Kaur had stated: “The entire charge sheet and accompanying documents do not show his presence or participation in the Markaz during the relevant period. Nor are there any records to suggest he was any of the participants in Tablighi’s work, as are the allegations. Neither the copy of the register that has been seized and registered, nor the SDM’s list of details of people sent from the Markaz to hospitals or quarantine centers, or the list of people who were part of the Markaz and who have been tested for Covid are specifically mentioned the name of the current defendant to show even his prima facie involvement or presence as claimed in the indictment in the Markaz Even for this court to proceed, there must be prima facie evidence against the accused, which is not so … “
The Delhi police had opposed the accused’s application for dismissal by showing that the charge sheet and documents contained “sufficient prima facie evidence” to proceed against them. The police had filed a circular from the Home Office stating that the defendant had come to India on a tourist visa but “was involved in the work of Tablighi” in violation of the visa manual.
📣 The Indian Express is on the telegram now. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay up to date on the latest headlines
Download the Indian Express App for the latest India News.