Tablighi Jamaat: Court allows 121 foreigners to walk free on fine

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) A Delhi court on Monday allowed 79 Bangladeshi and 42 Kyrgyzstan nationals to walk out free after levying a penalty of Rs 5,000 each under the plea bargaining process. The foreign nationals had accepted mild charges related to various violations while attending the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in March.

The foreign nationals were part of the congregation, which was in alleged violation of the visa norms and guidelines issued by the Indian government on Covid-19.

The Bangladeshi and Kyrgyzstan foreign nationals pleaded guilty and were asked to shell out a fine of Rs 5,000 each by Metropolitan Magistrate Jitender Pratap Singh and Rohit Gulia, respectively.

However, three Bangladesh and eight Kyrgyzstan nationals claimed trial after not accepting the mild charges under the plea bargain process in the case.

Plea bargain is a pretrial negotiation between the accused and the prosecution where the accused agrees to plead guilty in exchange for certain concessions by the prosecution.

The Crime Branch of Delhi Police has named more than 900 foreign nationals in connection with the case. The FIR was registered against Tablighi Jamaat leader Maulana Saad Kandhalvi and others on March 31.

The accused have been charged under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Epidemic Diseases Act, the Disaster Management Act, and also for violating the prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

On July 6, the court had noted that there was prima facie sufficient material on record to proceed against the accused persons under Section14 (b) Foreigners Act, 1946, provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act, the Disaster Management Act and the Indian Penal Code.



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