By Muslim Mirror Staff
A Mumbai court on Monday acquitted 20 foreign attendees of the Tablighi Jamaat congregation held in March in New Delhi. The city police had accused them of spreading Covid-19 and violating prohibitory order during the Covid-19 lockdown, legal website Live Law reported.
Metropolitan Magistrate (Andheri) R R Khan passed two separate orders to quash all charges against them. They belong to two different countries. Ten of them are from Indonesia and the other ten are from Kyrgyz Republic.
“There is no iota of evidence with prosecution to show any contravention of order by accused persons beyond all shadow of doubt,” the court observed.
The cases were filed after two police informants registered an FIR against the accused, claiming that they visited various places and persons and spread the infection and causing deaths. The informants also claimed that the accused had violated the lockdown norms and infringed the orders of the Mumbai police commissioner, according to LiveLaw.
However, the serious charges of attempt to murder and culpable homicide not amounting to murder were dropped by the Mumbai Police in August. The police admitted that there was no evidence to show they had caused deaths by spreading the virus, according to the Indian Express.
The court’s judgment notes that the prosecution had just two witness, both of whom were police officials, who later admitted that they did not witness any violations of government orders on the part of the accused.
“Furthermore, the prosecution has not even carried out preparation of Panchanama and never recorded statement of any other independent witness. Thus, there is no legal evidence furnished by prosecution in support of charge,” the order read.
In August, the court had cancelled three FIRs against 35 petitioners – 29 of them foreign nationals – who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation and travelled from there to different parts of India. The court had said in its judgement that the foreigners had been made “scapegoats” and that the action against them was an “indirect warning to Indian Muslims” after the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.