The Delhi High court on Tuesday issued a notice on six more quashing petitions in connection with the Tablighi Jamaat case. So far notice has been issued on 10 quashing petitions in the matter.
A Bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait on Tuesday sought the response of Delhi Police/state and slated the matter for the next hearing on March 8.
Petitioners through advocates Ashima Mandla and Mandakini Singh stated that it is not the case of the prosecution that the foreign nationals were allegedly residing inside places of religious worship (masjids alone) but even when they were found inside apartments, the police have registered FIRs against the house owners and foreign nationals.
"The said FIRs are untenable in law as the offence is not made out. As per the contents of the said FIRs, it has been alleged by the Police and authorities that these Indian nationals with other foreign nationals allegedly violated the lockdown orders of the Centre and Delhi government. However, there is no whisper of either any religious/social gathering being held inside the Masjid or of the petitioners herein being COVID-19 positive," read the plea.
The petition stated that the allegations levelled against petitioners in the FIRs have been "manufactured only for bringing the allegations within the four corners of criminal offence even when they are patently false and unsubstantiated".
"Without admitting to the veracity of the allegations levelled in the impugned FIRs, it is the humble submission of the petitioners that with the total ban on movement on March 22, 2020 (janata curfew), imposition of section 144 in New Delhi on March 24, 2020, and complete nation-wide lockdown directed by the Union of India with effect from March 25, 2020, rendered the petitioners remediless and had no recourse but to continue staying inside the Masjid, until taken into institutional quarantine. Hence, the aggrieved petitioners cannot be charged under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code for merely residing inside a building, which happens to be a masjid, thus, the said charges are liable to be quashed," the plea said.
( With inputs from ANI )
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