Foreign Jamaatis can shift, approach police for this: Delhi HC

Source :IANS
Author :IANS
Last Updated: Tue, Jun 30th, 2020, 17:47:51hrs

New Delhi, June 30 (IANS) The Delhi High Court, allowing the petition filed by foreigners involved in the Tablighi Jamaat congregation case to shift their present accommodation, also granted them the liberty to approach police in case any such modification is required in future.

"The petitioners are at a liberty to approach the Delhi Police in the future if any such modification is required. The Delhi Police, if it has no objections, shall forward the same to the union (government)," a division bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rajnish Bhatnagar said.

The directions were passed while the court was hearing a petition filed by application filed, through advocate Ashima Mandla, seeking permission to shift one of the venues where some of the foreign nationals were staying, with permission of the court.

The petitioner had stated that 65 foreign nationals were housed at Meeraj International School but were facing discomfort with regard to the arrangements there, and had sought permission to immediately shift these foreign nationals to the Texan Public School.

The application said that the community has now identified an additional two alternate places of accommodation, which may be used in the future, if need be, to house any of the 955 foreign nationals in question.

"The community once again undertakes to bear all costs for shifting accommodation and further duly notify the Delhi Police of the whereabouts of the foreign nationals," the application stated.

On May 28, the bench had allowed 955 foreign nationals, who attended the congregation at Tablighi Jamaat in Nizamuddin area here, to shift to alternate places of accommodation.

Earlier, the Tablighi Jamaat took the responsibilities for arranging food and daily needs of the foreign nationals.

The foreign nationals, however, have been directed not to leave their respective places without intimation. The Central government said that none of the foreign nationals are under detention and the relief to fly back home has not been pressed.

Earlier, the counsel for the petitioner had sought release of these foreign nationals, who participated in the event and are being held in institutional quarantine since March 30 despite having tested negative for Covid-19.

It was further informed by way of the status report that the Delhi Police has neither arrested nor detained anyone in the case lodged against members of Tablighi Jamaat for participating in the religious congregation at the Nizamuddin Markaz during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The Delhi Police had, in its response filed before the court, said that that Tablighi Jamaat "deliberately, wilfully, negligently and malignantly disobeyed" the orders of the government regarding the lockdown and social distancing amidst the outbreak of the pandemic.

The police had informed the court that the authorities of Markaz at Tablighi Jamaat headquarters, were contacted by Delhi Police. Mufti Shahzad there was apprised of the situation arising out of the spread of Covid-19 and was asked to take immediate action for preventing the spread of this disease. He was directed to send the foreign devotees back to their respective countries and Indian participants to their respective native places.

"However, no one paid any heed to the lawful directions of Delhi Police," the investigating agency told the court.

The police report also said that written notices were also issued to Maulana Mohd Saad and the Markaz Management, but they refused to pay any heed.

The Delhi Police also told the court that an audio has been found where Maulana Saad was allegedly "heard asking his followers to defy the lockdown and social distancing and to attend the religious gathering of the Markaz".