Court acquits 20 Tablighi foreign members stuck for 7 months

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MUMBAI: A magistrate’s court here on Monday acquitted 20 foreign

Tablighi Jamaat

delegates who had been booked for violating Covid-related norms and assembling in a mosque, reports Rebecca Samervel.
In two separate judgments, the Indonesian and

Kyrgyz Republic

nationals were found not guilty for the single charge under the Bombay Police Act, which through a promulgated order prohibits any assembly of people for preservation of public order.
The delegates, who had come to India to attend the Tablighi congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin Markaz —it was perceived to be a Covid-spreader event — can return to their home countries after being stranded in Mumbai for over seven months.
Referring to the evidence of two witnesses — cops who probed the cases — the court said neither had an occasion to see the accused together in the form of an assembly.
“The prosecution witnesses admitted they have not seen accused persons contravening any directions or order issued by the authority. The witnesses were also not found in a position to tell where and how the accused persons were residing at the time of the alleged offence,” metropolitan magistrate RR Khan said. “Admittedly the accused persons are foreigners; therefore, they aren’t acquainted with local language and the law of the state,” it said.

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