A Lucknow court has given a clean chit to 17 members of Tablighi Jamaat, including seven foreign nationals, booked during COVID-19 lockdown, for want of evidence.
They were booked during lockdown under Sections 188, 269, 270, 271of the IPC, Section 14 of the Foreign Act and Section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act. All the accused, including ten Indians, were on bail but facing trial in cases against them lodged by the Lucknow Police.
The Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Lucknow Sushil Kumari observed that there was no prima facie evidence produced before the Court to make the accused persons face the trial in cases against them.
The Counsel for seven Tablighis from Indonesia pleaded before the court that they all had come to India on valid Passport and Visa on January 20, 2020, much before the first COVID-19 case was reported on March 2, 2020, in the country of their origin.
The Counsel also pleaded that due to cases pending against them they were unable to go back to their home.
After hearing final arguments, the CJM Court passed an order quashing cases lodged against 17 members of Tablighi Jamaat and allowing them to be let off.
The Yogi Adityanath government has already issued a directive to drop cases against people, including Tablighis, who were booked during the lockdown.