People sanitise the Tablighi Jamaat headquarters at Nizamuddin
People sanitise the Tablighi Jamaat headquarters at Nizamuddin

A Bandra magistrate court which had discharged 12 Tablighi Indonesian nationals recently in a case of lockdown and visa violations, has observed in its order that after going through the facts and circumstances of the case, it does not reveal that they deliberately disobeyed the government’s lockdown orders nor that they acted negligently, neither that are liable for the spread of COVID-19.

The court also said that they had not breached visa conditions for which the police had booked them under the Foreigners Act. The foreigners - half of them women, had been booked for lockdown order and visa violations, negligent act likely to spread infection dangerous to life among others offences. Later, serious offences of an attempt to murder and culpable homicide not amounting to murder were also added against them, both of which are punishable up to life imprisonment.

While arriving at its conclusions, the magistrate relied on the order of the Bombay High Court’s Aurangabad bench’s order which their advocate Ishrat Khan had cited. While quashing a similar case against 29 foreigners who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi and were booked by the Ahmednagar police for spreading COVID-19, the HC bench in August had observed that the foreigners were chosen to be “scapegoats”, that the state government had acted under "political compulsions" as well as that there was "big propaganda in print and electronic media" against them

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Free Press Journal