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Tablighi Jamaat case: Delhi court grants bail to 34 more foreign nationals on plea bargaining

The Delhi Police had charge-sheeted 995 foreign nationals for attending the controversial Tablighi Jamaat congregation at Markaz Nizamuddin that later devolved into a potent coronavirus hotspot

Over the last few days, a Delhi court has granted a spree of bails plea bargaining in connection with the Tablighi Jamaat congregation that took place at Markaz Nizamuddin during mid-March amidst the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Plea bargaining is a pre-trial negotiation between the accused and the prosecution where the accused agrees to plead guilty in exchange for certain concessions by the prosecution. The Criminal Procedure of Code allows for plea bargaining in cases where the maximum punishment is 7-year imprisonment; offences don’t affect the socio-economic conditions of the society and the offence is not committed against a woman or a child below 14 years.

Delhi court grants bail to 34 Thai who attended Tablighi Jamaat event

The Metropolitan magistrate in Delhi today allowed 34 Thai nationals to walk free on plea bargaining and imposed a fine of Rs 6000 each. The foreign nationals from Thailand were represented by advocate Ashima Mandla. The fine has been paid to PM Cares Fund as per the direction of the court.

The court had earlier observed that there was sufficient prima facie material on record to proceed against the accused persons under Section 14(b), Foreigners Act, 1946, under provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act, the Disaster Management Act, and the Indian Penal Code.

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The Delhi Court had recently granted bail to foreign nationals in connection with the cases related to Tablighi Jamaat congregation this year in March, which had later turned out to be a coronavirus hotspot. The Delhi Police had booked around 955 foreign nationals in this matter.

Here are other instances in the last few days when the Delhi Court have allowed the bail of foreign nationals accused in the Tablighi Jamaat congregation to walk free in lieu of payment of fine:

Delhi Court allows 200 Indonesians and 22 Nepalese Tablighi to walk free

A Delhi court on Thursday granted bail to 92 Indonesians who were charge-sheeted for attending Tablighi Jamaat event here allegedly in violation of visa norms, indulging in missionary activities illegally and violating government guidelines issued in the wake of coronavirus outbreak. The relief was granted to the foreigners on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 10,000.

Besides Indonesians, 22 Nepalese having a connection with the Muslim seminary and who had attended the controversial event at Markaz Nizamuddin were also allowed to walk free on payment of fine Rs 4,000 each.

Foreign nationals from Djibouti, Mali, Kenya and Sri Lanka granted bail

Earlier this week, the Delhi Court had allowed foreign nationals from Djibouti, Mali, Kenya and Sri Lanka to walk free on payment of Rs 5,000 as fine after the accused accepted mild charges under the plea bargain process, related to various violations including visa norms while attending Tablighi Jamaat congregation here during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Thai and Nepalese Tablighi Jamaat members granted relief

On July 11, the Delhi court allowed a different set of Thai and Nepalese Tablighi Jamaat members, who had attended the gathering at Markaz Nizamuddin in Delhi in mid-March, to walk free on furnishing the surety of Rs 10,000 each.

Bail granted to 82 Bangladeshi Nationals

Last week, the Delhi court had granted bail to 82 Bangladeshi nationals who had attended the controversial Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi for allegedly violating visa norms, indulging in illegal proselytising activities, and infringing government guidelines, mandated in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Gurmohina Kaur provided bail to the foreigners in exchange of paying a fine of Rs 10,000 each.

Tablighi Jamaat members from China, Brazil, Australia, Fiji and the Philippines granted bail

Earlier this month, the Delhi court granted relief to members of Tablighi Jamaat from China, Brazil, Australia, Fiji, and the Philippines, who were accused of gross violations after they were found attending the Tablighi Jamaat congregation that had devolved into a potent coronavirus hotspot in the country.

Hearing the plea bargaining application, the Delhi Court ordered their bail on payment of fine of Rs 10,000 each. The accused had agreed to mild charges under plea bargaining.

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