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Delhi HC allows shifting 955 Tablighi foreign attendees from quarantine centres

By Richa Banka, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAY 28, 2020 11:10 PM IST

The Delhi High Court on Thursday allowed for 955 foreigners who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Nizamuddin in March from quarantine centres to alternative accommodations after the Centre, Delhi government and Delhi Police said they had no objection.

The bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rajnish Bhatnagar gave the order after receiving the status report from the Delhi government’s revenue department. The report said that the central government had not arrested or detained of the foreigners, who are accused of violating visa rules and endangering lives by attending the congregation when the government had restricted such public gatherings due to the spread of Covid-19. It also added that a case has been registered and charge sheets have been filed against them.

The foreigners were accommodated in quarantine centres across the city. Appearing for the petitioners, senior advocates Rebecca John and advocate Ashima Mandla, said that the foreigners had tested negative for Covid-19 and requested that they be sent to an alternative place of accommodations as they were being “illegally detained” in these centres. They submitted addresses of these alternative accommodations to the court.

In its status report, the Delhi government gave its No Objection Certificate (NOC) for shifting them. Counsels for the Delhi Police and Centre also said they had no objection to shift them. The counsels also said that the foreigners were directed to not leave the city without prior intimation to the authorities.

Meanwhile, another bench of the Delhi High Court adjourned the hearing on a petition seeking transfer of the case filed against Tablighi Jamaat chief Maulana Saad to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), to June 18.

A division bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Talwant Singh adjourned the matter as the counsel appearing for the petitioner didn’t appear on time through video-conferencing.

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