A plea has been moved in the Delhi High Court challenging the decision of the Department of Revenue, Delhi Government, to hand over 567 foreign nationals related to the Nizamuddin Markaz event to Delhi Police.
These foreign nationals, as per the Petitioner, are currently held in the institutional quarantine for over a month. As per the order dated 09/05/20, Delhi Government has decided to hand over these foreign nationals to the Delhi Police, upon testing negative.
The Petition filed through Advocate Ashima Mandla has challenged the said move by calling it bereft of any legality, and violative of Articles 14, 21 and 22 of the Constitution.
While asking the court to issue a writ of habeas corpus for the immediate release of these foreign nationals, the Petitioner argues that:
'Even otherwise, the mere act of detaining 916 foreign nationals in institutional quarantine for over a month, despite all 916 persons now testing negative for Covid-19 shall tantamount to illegal detention and violating Articles 14, 21 and 22 of the Constitution.'
Citing the ongoing month of Ramadan asa ground for urgency, the Petitioner submits that keeping these foreign nationals in quarantine isolation, when Eid is just few days away, would amount to a violation of their fundamental rights.
While highlighting that the FIRs for the Markaz event has been registered against the unknown persons, the petition states:
'The Impugned Order mentioning 567 foreign nationals fails to clarify if the aforementioned persons have previously been blacklisted and booked by the Police officials.Furthermore, it is unclear It is to be regarded that the power to grant police custody (Section 167) as well as the power to arraign a person(Section 319), suspected of a crime for the purposes of investigation vests with the Judiciary under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Resultantly, the contents of Paragraph 5 and the consequential implication is contrary to the law of the land and thus cannot be upheld.'
Therefore, the Petitioner has asked the court to order the Delhi Government to order and facilitate immediate release of foreign nationals held in institutional quarantine in Delhi having tested negative for covid-19 as quarantine in perpetuity shall tantamount to illegal detention.
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