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Court grants bail to Malaysian nationals who took part in Tablighi meet

Court grants bail to Malaysian nationals who took part in Tablighi meet
July 08
11:45 2020

NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Tuesday granted bail to several Malaysian nationals charge-sheeted for attending the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin in mid-March in alleged violation of visa norms and Covid-19 guidelines issued by the Indian government.

“All the accused persons mentioned in Column A no. A11 A of the charge sheet are admitted to bail on a personal bond of Rs 10,000 each. The counsel for all the accused shall file the personal bond on behalf of all the accused persons for today itself,” said Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Gurmohina Kaur of Saket Court.

As of now, the police have filed charge sheets against 121 of the 125 Malaysian nationals. All the accused appeared before the court through video conferencing. On Monday, the court took cognisance of the 59 chargesheets filed in the matter.

After the court announced its order, Advocate Hari Haran moved the plea bargaining application on behalf of each accused. “The plea bargaining applications moved by all the accused persons in the present chargesheet be marked to Siddharth Malik, MM, South East for 08.07.2020 for disposal as per the law,” Gurmohina Kaur added.

Plea bargaining is a pretrial negotiation between the accused and the prosecution where the accused agrees to plead guilty in exchange for certain concessions by the prosecution. It is a bargain where a defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge and the prosecutors in return drop the more serious charges.

The Crime Branch has named more than 900 foreign nationals, including over 120 Malaysians, in connection with the case. An FIR was registered against Tablighi Jamaat leader Maulana Saad Kandhalvi and six others on March 31.

The case pertains to a congregation at the Banglewali Masjid in Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin area in mid-March, in which a large number of foreign nationals had participated.

The accused persons have been charged under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Epidemic Diseases Act, the Disaster Management Act, and also for violating the prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The Centre has cancelled their visas and blacklisted them. The foreign nationals have not been arrested yet.

Earlier this month, the Delhi High Court had issued a slew of suggestions to a city court for speedy disposal of the cases related to several foreign nationals connected to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation.

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