Hundreds of Tablighi members who attended the Delhi Markaz event had tested COVID positive (File)
The Delhi High Court Monday asked the centre, Delhi government and police to reply to a plea by several foreign nationals, who are connected to the Islamic Sect Tablighi Jamaat and had participated in the religious congregation at Nizamuddin Markaz event earlier this year amid the coronavirus outbreak, seeking permission to add three more places of alternate accommodation for them.
A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rajnish Bhatnagar issued notices to the centre and Delhi government and Delhi Police and asked them to take instructions on the matter.
The court, which conducted the hearing through video conferencing, listed the matter for further hearing on Tuesday.
The application sought modification to the court's May 28 order by seeking to include three more places of alternate accommodation for the foreign nationals connected to the Tablighi Jamaat in light of the ongoing criminal proceedings.
On May 28, the high court had directed that 955 foreign nationals, who had participated in the Nizamuddin event, be shifted from institutional quarantine centres, where they were kept since March 30 despite testing negative for coronavirus, to nine alternate accommodations.
The plea, filed through advocates Mandakini Singh and Ashima Mandla, said that during the course of the month, 65 foreign nationals housed at Meeraj International School have faced discomfort with regard to the arrangements there.
It said the community is praying for permission to immediately shift these 65 foreign nationals from Meeraj International School to Texan Public School in Delhi's Moujpur, a new accommodation suggested by them.
"Apart from the Texan Public School, the community has now identified an additional 2 alternate places of accommodation, which may be used in the future, if need be, to house any of the 955 foreign nationals in question. The community once again undertakes to bear all costs for shifting accommodation and further duly notify the Respondent No 4 (Delhi Police) of the whereabouts of the foreign nationals," it said.
The high court had on May 28 disposed of two petitions filed by various foreign nationals seeking to be shifted to alternate accommodation and stating that the financial burden will be borne by the community, Tablighi Jamaat.
The high court had warned that they should not shift to any other location without the permission of Delhi Police.
Delhi Police had told the High Court that 47 chargesheets have been filed against 910 foreign nationals belonging to 35 countries.
After being exposed to a large gathering in March amid the coronavirus lockdown, many members of Tablighi Jamaat who attended an event at Delhi's Hazrat Nizamuddin were taken out by the authorities and lodged in different quarantine centres in Delhi. Some of them were sent to the centres a few days later after being detained from various mosques.
In April, COVID-19 cases in Delhi spiked after hundreds of Tablighi Jamaat members, who had attended the large congregation in Nizamuddin, tested positive.
The other members were directly taken to quarantine centres to contain the spread of COVID-19.