Tablighi Jamaat: Delhi Court allows 121 foreigners from 2 countries to walk free on payment of fine

A Delhi court Monday allowed 121 people from Kyrgyzstan and Bangladesh to walk free on payment of ₹5,000 each, after they accepted mild charges under the plea bargain process, related to various violations including visa norms while attending Tablighi Jamaat event here during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Also read: Editorial | Beyond the blame game: On the Tablighi Jamaat episode

Metropolitan Magistrate Jitendra Pratap Singh allowed 79 Bangladeshi nationals to walk free on payment of a fine of ₹5,000 each, said advocate Ashima Mandla appearing for them.

Metropolitan Magistrate Rohit Gullia allowed 42 Kyrgyzstan nationals to walk free on payment of a fine of ₹5,000 each, said advocate Fahim Khan appearing for them.

The court allowed them to walk free after the Sub-divisional magistrate of Defence Colony, who was the complainant in the case, Assistant Commissioner of Police of Lajpat Nagar, Inspector of Nizamuddin said they have no objection to the decision.

However, eight nationals from Kyrgyzstan and three from Bangladesh did not plead guilty to the charges against them and claimed trial before the court.

The court was hearing their plea bargain applications.

Under plea bargaining, the accused plead guilty to the offence, praying for a lesser punishment. 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.

The foreigners were chargesheeted for attending the religious congregation at Nizamuddin Markaz event in the national capital by allegedly violating visa conditions, indulging in missionary activities illegally and violating government guidelines, issued in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

They were granted bail earlier by the court on a personal bond of ₹10,000 each.

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