A trial court in Delhi has discharged certain foreign nationals related to the Tablighi Jamaat event of all offences levelled against them under the various provisions of the Foreigners Act, Disaster Management Act, and the Indian Penal Code.
While discharging these foreign nationals, the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Gurmohina Kaur noted that no document has been produced that connects the accused in the present matter with the allegations made in the chargesheet.
The chargesheet alleges that the accused persons arrived in India on a tourist visa, instead of a missionary visa, and violated the terms of their visa by indulging in missionary work and voluntarily propagating the ideology of the Tablighi Jamaat.
The chargesheet further states that:
'the authorities of Markaz at Tablighi Jamaat headquarters were contacted by Delhi Police and Mufti Shahzad of the Markaz was asked to take immediate action for preventing the spread of disease and also to send the foreign devotees back to their countries and other Indians to their respective states, however, no such direction was followed and the accused along with other co accused persons refused to comply with the lawful directions of the authorities resulting in loss of lives and imminent danger to the lives of the others.'
Senior Advocate Rebecca John, who appeared for the accused, argued that that the chargesheet is silent as to the role of any of the accused persons so chargesheeted and also does not provide any specific act done by them to invoke provisions of any of the sections alleged against them.
Ms John further argued that as per the visa guidelines available on the MHA website, the accused persons were not barred from visiting and attending any religious place including the Tablighi Jamaat and there is no evidence to show as per the chargesheet and documents attached
that any of the accused persons had preached or professed or was involved in any Tablighi work.
It was also submitted by Ms John that that's no evidence on record to suggest that the accused persons were loitering around in violation of the lockdown regulations.
After taking these submissions into consideration, the court observed that there's no prima facie evidence against the accused persons in the present matter.
Therefore, the court discharged these foreign nationals of all offences invoked against them. The court said:
'In the absence of any record or any credible material placed before this court in the present chargesheet or any of the documents attached along with it, so as to proceed further against the accused as already discussed above accused namely Nurbek Dosmukanbet Uulu is hereby discharged from all offences in the present case.'
The accused in the present case were represented by Senior Advocate Rebecca M John, and Advocate Ashima Mandla.
Click Here To Download Order