Tablighi Jamaat: Supreme Court asks Center to help 36 foreigners to return home
The Supreme Court has asked the central government to assist 36 foreigners to return to their countries after they were cleared of all charges of disobeying Covid-19-related guidelines by participating in the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in the Nizamuddin area of Delhi. .
One bank, headed by Judge AM Khanwilkar, took note of requests made by foreigners during a hearing on Friday and asked a government-appointed nodal official to facilitate their return.
Lead attorney Menaka Guruswamy, who appeared on behalf of the 36 foreigners from 14 countries, had submitted his pleas, noting that all of these applicants were grateful to the higher court for expediting their trial before a subordinate court.
When Guruswamy requested court intervention for the smooth departure of these foreigners, the court said it would implore the nodal officer to process this request.
Also read: Mumbai court acquits 20 foreign members of Tablighi Jamaat, says prosecution had no evidence
“They can make a representation before the nodal officer to facilitate their return to the country of origin, which can be processed appropriately and in accordance with the law,” said the court, which also included judges BR Gavai and Krishna Murari.
However, the court added that the direction to the nodal officer was independent of any decision that the Delhi police might make to challenge the acquittal.
Attorney General Tushar Mehta assured the court that in the event that any foreign national who has been exonerated has any difficulty returning, his attorneys can contact his office for assistance.
The court also recorded its appreciation for Mehta after lead attorney Salman Khurshid, representing some of the foreigners, praised the SG for providing all possible assistance.
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On December 15, a Delhi court dropped all charges against the 36 foreigners, citing a lack of incriminating evidence. The trial court said the prosecution was unable to prove the presence of any of the defendants inside the Tablighi Jamaat headquarters between March 12 and April 1, when the alleged violations occurred.
Previously, cases against eight other foreign nationals were closed after they paid the Rs 10,000 fine.