Compelling Markaz attendees to undergo trial would be “grave injustice”, the court said.
By Muslim Mirror Staff
The Bombay High Court on 24 September quashed the FIR and charge sheet filed against eight Myanmar nationals observing that “There is no material on record to prove that applicants had indulged in any act which was likely to spread infection of COVID -19”, Live Law reported on 24 September.
The development comes days after the Aurangabad Bench of the High Court quahsed proceedigns against an other batch of Markaz attendees. In the judgement Justice Nalawade had observed, “there is probability that these foreigners were chosen to make them scapegoats”.
The Markaz attendees hailing from Myanmar had visited the Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi from March 2-6, and thereafter travelled to Nagpur, where they were arrested.
The Bench of Justices VM Despandeand Amit B Borkar of the Nagpur Bench of the High Court pointed out that the foreigners tested negative for COVID-19 during their quarantine period from 3 April, adding that there was no question of spreading the disease.
Contrary to the State’s stance that the attendees preached and propagated their beliefs in a violation of visa rules, the Court found that the attendees only learnt about Indian Islamic culture and studied the scriptures in their native languages during their stay in India. Barring almost identical statements made by the witnesses arraigned, there was no proof, not even prima facie, of visa rule violations.
It was further submitted that there are no restrictions on foreigners from attending religious gatherings in India under the conditions of Tourist Visa.
The attendees had been in isolation and under medical supervision during their stay, and their tests had returned a negative result. The Court concluded that there was no material to record that they “had indulged in any act which was likely to spread infection of COVID -19″. The court added that compelling Markaz attendees to undergo trial would be “grave injustice”.