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[Tablighi Case] Plea By 5 Malaysian Nationals Facing Prosecution In SC; State Of Bihar To Take Instructions

Sanya Talwar
13 Oct 2020 11:06 AM GMT
[Tablighi Case] Plea By 5 Malaysian Nationals Facing Prosecution In SC; State Of Bihar To Take Instructions
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The Supreme Court today asked the State of Bihar to seek instructions in a plea by 5 nationals from Malaysia, facing prosecution in the state for alleged "Tablighi Activities".A bench led by Justice AM Khanwilkar adjourned the case to Thursday, October 15.The petitioners have sough a declaration that the actions of the Union of India and the State of Bihar were in violation of Fundamental...

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The Supreme Court today asked the State of Bihar to seek instructions in a plea by 5 nationals from Malaysia, facing prosecution in the state for alleged "Tablighi Activities".

A bench led by Justice AM Khanwilkar adjourned the case to Thursday, October 15.

The petitioners have sough a declaration that the actions of the Union of India and the State of Bihar were in violation of Fundamental Rights guaranteed to the foreign nationals under the Constitution of India.

"...seeking issuance of writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ to the State of Bihar to withdraw prosecution which was mechanically instituted in the basis of notification dated April 2, 2020 issued by the UOI in violation of the procedure established by law..."

In this backdrop, the plea has also sought directions to the Ministry of Home Affairs to follow its own circular of March 28, 2020, according to which the petitioners/foreigners who were found to be free of Covid19 were to be immediately deported back to their home country after their quarantine period was over, as detention of the petitioner in India amounts to illegal persecution as held by the Bombay High Court.

The plea states that the petitioners entered the territory of India with a valid tourist visa on March 3, 2020 and were duly screened at the airport by medical authorities and no symptoms of Covid19 were found.

"Petitioner nos. 2 to 5 visited the International Headquarters of the Society located in Nizamuddin in New Delhi in March and Petitioner 1 visited it on March 12. In between the society held a congregation in Delhi from 10th March-13th March after taking requisite permissions from the authority... it is pertinent to note here that the Health Ministry, GOI issued a statement on March 12 that Covid19 is not an emergency and people need not panic".

The arrest of the petitioners was made under Section 14/14C of the Foreigners Act.

The plea thus, inter alia, takes the ground that tablighi congregations do not amount to tablighi work. 

"That the petitioner no. 1 is still languishing in Jail and has undergone sufficient punishment for more than 5 months"

It is also averred that it was falsely propagated by the Media on a large scale that the Muslims are the who spread Coronavirus in India with the purpose of publicly humiliating the Muslim community and to create communal disharmony.

The plea has been filed by Advocate Fauzia Shakil.

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