Quashing the FIRs filed against 29 foreign nationals who participated in Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi, Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court on Friday said that the foreigners in the case were made "scapegoat".
As per the report published by Live Law, the court also criticised the portrayal of these foreign nationals by media. While noting it, the court said, "There was big propaganda in print media and electronic media against the foreigners who had come to Markaz in Delhi.
The court also said that the attempt was made to create a picture that these foreigners were responsible for spreading COVID-19 virus in India. The court also labelled the attempt as "virtual persecution".
The court was hearing a plea filed by foreign nationals who were booked under sections of Indian Penal Code, Epidemic Diseases Act, Maharashtra Police Act, Disaster Management Act and Foreigner's Act for allegedly violating their Tourist Visa conditions by attending the congregation in Delhi's Nizamuddin.
In July, Delhi court allowed 198 Indonesians to walk free on payment of varying fines, after they accepted mild charges under the plea bargain process, related to various violations including visa norms while attending the Tablighi Jamaat event here during the COVID-19 lock down.
In April at least 9,000 people, including the foreign nationals participated in the religious congregation in Nizamuddin. Later, many of the attendees travelled to various parts of the country. The event later created controversy and many alleged that the event led to spread of the COVID-19 cases in India.