Tablighi Jamaat: Charge sheeted Malaysians move Delhi HC for speedy trial
by IANS | Updated Jun 17, 2020
A single judge bench of Justice Anup J. Bhambani asked the Delhi government and Delhi Police to file a status report, while posting the matter for further hearing on July 1.
The petition filed by Fahrul Naim Bin Mohd Noor stated that the petitioner and the other Malaysians arrived in India during the time when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out and the Central and Delhi governments announced a lockdown, restraining the movement and assembly of people.
"While the Malaysian citizens were trying to arrange a place to stay or were making arrangements to go back to their country, they came to be taken into custody and were sent to correctional Quarantine Centres," the plea said.
The plea stated that 121 Malaysian citizens are estranged from their kith and kin and have been stranded in a foreign country for over three months without any final solution in the near future.
"The 121 citizens who have approached this Hon'ble court through the petitioner have tested negative for the presence of any virus and are currently in Delhi which is seeing a sudden upsurge of infected patients and has therefore become a serious cause of concern," the plea read.
The plea has sought the court's direction directing to treat the proceedings pursuant to the filing of charge sheet against the 121 Malaysian nationals as urgent for the purpose of consideration during the extraordinary times of Covid-19.
It also sought the court's permission permitting the Malaysian nationals charge sheeted by the Crime Branch to appear before the trial court, through video conferencing.
Meanwhile, 11 Saudi Arabians, who were also charge sheeted by the police in the same matter, have also approached the high court seeking direction to the trial court concerned to conduct trial on day to day basis in order to complete it expeditiously.
The petition also sought direction to permit these foreign nationals to go back to their country with appropriate conditions and undertaking that they shall return here to face trial and as and when called summoned by the court.
The Delhi Police's Crime Branch is probing the matter and Deputy Commissioner of Police Joy Tirkey is supervising it.
In the meantime, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has also started a probe in the Nizamuddin Markaz congregation case even though a probe by the Delhi Police was on track. The CBI has started a preliminary enquiry into the case and has also sought various documents from the police.
On the CBI probe, the Central government on June 5 told the Supreme Court that a CBI probe was not needed into the Tablighi Jamaat event at Nizamuddin Markaz as the investigation by the Crime Branch into the event is at an advanced state.
The Crime Branch has named more than 900 foreign nationals in connection with the case. The accused persons have been charged under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Epidemic Diseases Act, the Disaster Management Act, and also for violating the prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The FIR in this regard was registered on March 31. The case pertains to a congregation at the Banglewali Masjid in Delhi's Hazrat Nizamuddin area in mid-March, in which a large number of foreign nationals had participated.
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