Tablighi Jamaat: Patna High Court annuls case against 18 foreigners
The Patna High Court has annulled criminal proceedings against 18 foreign nationals associated with the Tablighi congregation. In its decision Tuesday, the court cited the absence of any material that could prima facie suggest that these people were involved in religious work.
The order came as a result of a petition filed by 11 foreign nationals who came to West Bengal from Bangladesh by road on a tourist visa. The petitioners said that they visited the ‘Nizamuddin Markaz’ in Delhi before the Tablighi event, arrived at Araria in Bihar on March 11 and resided in ‘Rawahi markaz’ since March 15. Then, a nationwide shutdown was announced on March 24 for 21 days. , leaving them stranded, the petitioners said.
In addition, the local administration quarantined them after selection. Later, a local claimed that these foreigners were involved in spreading religious ideologies and did not report their stay to the local administration, which led to the registration of an FIR, the court reported.
The court judge Rajeev Ranjan Prasad in its observation said that the government of India is aware of the fact that foreign nationals of some of the countries in the course of their stay in India are being accommodated in mosques or markaz.
The court further said that the accusations in this case of failing to report his stay at the local police station are “wrong.”
The court concluded by saying, “With regard to foreigners (petitioner Nos. 1 to 9 of WJC Cr. No. 367 of 2020 and petitioner Nos. 2 to 10 of WJC Cr. No. 369 of 20200), the Prosecution for the crimes alleged under Section 14 and 14-C of the 1946 Act has no basis to proceed. “