New Delhi: A court on Tuesday acquitted the remaining 36 foreign nationals belonging to 14 countries, who were charge sheeted for defying Covid-related guidelines by attending the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area in March.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Arun Kumar Garg acquitted the 36 foreigners of all the charges. They were part of the congregation, which was in alleged violation of the visa norms and guidelines issued by the government on Covid-19.
In August, the court had framed charges against them under Sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Section 3 (disobeying regulation) of the Epidemic Act and section 51 (obstruction) the Disaster Management Act, of which they have now been discharged.
The Delhi Police’s Crime Branch had named more than 900 foreign nationals in connection with the case. A majority of them, however, left for their countries by taking the plea bargaining route. A total of 44 were left, who then claimed trial in the case. Out of these, 8 were discharged by the court earlier.
These foreign nationals had come in the eye of the storm for participating in a congregation in Delhi at the start of the pandemic. Thousands of people had participated in the religious meet.