The Central Government submitted in the Supreme Court on Friday that no separate probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was required to be initiated in the Nizammuddin Markaz issue at New Delhi.
Further to this, the counter states that thousands gathered at the anand Vihar bus terminal on March 28 due to circulation of "misinformation" and not due to the laxity of authorities.
The affidavit filed on behalf of the State Government outlined that a probe in the aforesaid matter was being conducted on a day-to-day basis in accordance wit law and that all efforts were being made to submit a report in a time bound manner.
It states that enough mobilisation and deployment of personnel was done in order to handle the situation at Anand Vihar.
The Court was hearing a PIL filed on behalf of a Jammu-based lawyer Supriya Pandita, seeking seeking action against the Government of NCT of Delhi for their alleged failure in containing the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and thereby, allowing it to spread in the entire country.
On May 27, the Supreme Court had directed the Centre to file its reply in a plea seeking action against the Government of NCT of Delhi for their alleged failure in containing the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and thereby, allowing it to spread in the entire country.
Apropos this, the Ministry of Home Affairs made it blatantly clear that,
"The investigation in the aforesaid matter is being conducted on a day to day basis, in accordance with the mandate of law and all efforts are being made to finalise investigation and submit a report u/s 173 CrPC before the Hon'ble Court in a time bound manner."
The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) highlights the advisory issued by the Union on 16.03.2020 on Social Distancing measures wherein religious leaders had been advised to regulate mass gatherings and to prevent overcrowding.
Further, on 23.03.2020, the Prime Minister of India announced a national lockdown for a period of 21 days to prevent the spread of the virus.
The plea states that in order to tackle the spread of the virus, everyone must practice social distancing at Anand Vihar. However, despite knowing the same, the Respondents failed to stop the migrant workers and thereby violated Article 21 of the Constitution of India and provisions of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and Indian Penal Code, 1860.
The plea goes on to highlight another incident which stems from the event which took place between 15.03.2020 and 17.03.2020 at a Markaz in Nizamuddin, wherein 24 people who had attended the event, tested positive.
It has been averred that more than 2000 delegates were present at the Markaz and many have tested positive due to cluster transmission of the virus. In light of the same, Respondent No. 2 has failed to arrest the Nizamuddin Markaz chief Maulana Saad, who had organized the event.
Countering averments made by Pandita in her plea, the MHA has stated in its Counter that there was no negligence or delay in dealing with the said issue by the Government authorities.
The Counter highlights that,
On March 21, the authorities of Markaz at Tablighi Jamat Headquarters were contacted by Delhi Police. Mufti Shahzad was apprised of the threat of COVID-19 and asked to take immediate action for preventing the spread of this disease and was directed to send the foreigners back to their respective countries and other Indian persons to their respective native places. This fell on deaf ears and no heed was given to these orders. Maulana Mohd. Saad, head of the Tablighi Jamaat's audio recording, was found to be in circulation on social media platforms in which the speaker was heard asking his followers to defy the lockdown and social distancing and to attend the religious gathering of Markaz.
"They deliberately, wilfully, negligently and malignantly disobeyed the lawful directions promulgated in this regard. Written notices were also issued to the Markaz Management" - Excerpt of Counter Affidavit
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