Delhi High Court: A Division Bench of Vipin Sanghi and Rajnish Bhatnagar, JJ., asked the respondents to report back on the facilities identified by community for the purpose of shifting the foreign nationals who participated in Tablighi Jamat.

Present petition was preferred seeking issuance of writ of mandamus in order to quash the Order issued by Respondent 3.

Further petitioners sought immediate release of all foreign nationals held by respondents in institutional quarantine in Delhi on grounds of being tested negative for COVID19 and quarantine in perpetuity.

As per the status report filed by Delhi Police, passports and Visa application forms of overseas quarantined Tablighi Jamaat participants were examined and it was found that they had obtained Tourist Visa/ E-Visa on their arrival in India.

It was alleged that the participation of these foreign nationals in Tablighi Jamat is in violation of the Visa Manual, 2019 and contravenes Section 14 of the Foreigners Act, 1946.

Also non-compliance of orders issued under Epidemic Diseases Act and Disaster Management Act, 2005 has been alleged against the above-mentioned foreign nationals.

Some of the accused foreign nationals were unable to provide / produce their passports. Efforts are being made to account for all the passports in this regard.

Delhi Police stated that no one has been arrested in the case so far, and that no one has been detained by the Delhi Police in the said case.

Standing Counsel, Rahul Mehra, on instructions, stated that the final report would be filed before the concerned court within this week.

He also stated that the foreign nationals, who are presently housed at the quarantine facilities, are not under detention, or arrest.

Senior Counsel, Rebecca John for the petitioners stated that these foreign nationals may be moved to other better facilities that have been identified by community.

Amit Mahajan for Union of India submitted that since the above-mentioned foreign nationals are not under detention or arrest, and the relief for allowing the said foreign nationals to fly back to their respective home countries has not been pressed – as a case has been registered and the charge sheet is also about to be filed, he would not object to the limited prayer being made by the petitioners.

Thus in view of the above respondents shall report back on the said facilities on next date.

Matter to be listed on 28th May, 2020. [Mohammad Jamal v. UOI, 2020 SCC OnLine Del 603 , decided on 26-05-2020]

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