Mumbai: In a dramatic development, an Andheri Metropolitan Magistrate Court acquitted 20 foreigners who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi for violating the covid 19 and lockdown norms.
They were inadvertently booked by D.N.Nagar police under various sections of IPC, 188, 269, 270, 307,304(2) for spreading coronavirus in Mumbai. There were no legal evidence furnished by the prosecution to support its charge.
Credit goes out to advocate couple ,Adv Ahmed Shaikh and Advocate Ayassamma who have been practising continuously and tirelessly and worked hard for 4 months to get justice for these foreign nationals..
The husband and wife duo said that these foreign nationals had suffered a lot. After their continous hard work stretching from April to August they have got justice.
It is their appeal to the Government of India to support the foreign nationals to enable them to return to their country safely.
They are also thankful to all those who supported them in this legal battle and helped these foreign nationals.
In an Exclusive Interview with Hello Mumbai News Mr .Ahmed Shaikh who defended this case for Foreign nationals said, ” This case against these foreign nationals were predominantly baseless. These Tablighi Jamaat members came to India in Feburary 2020 prior to lockdown imposed in March and were staying in two different Masjids in Andheri.
The court also made it known that amid the imposition of Covid-19 pandemic induced lockdown their ultimate shelter in a mosque or nearby will not render them responsible for such contravention.
Magistrate RR Khan said that noticeably the case of prosecution consists of only two witnesses. Both were police officers from DN Nagar police station where the FIR was registered against the Kyrgyz Republic and Indonesian nationals. From the combined perusal of evidence, he said it is evident that both have deposed that the accused have not committed violation of lockdown or curfew.
The court also observed that documentary evidence of the prosecution is considerable but orally the witnesses have not supported the case of the prosecution in the true sense.
In a discharge plea they had filed before the magistrate court had come to be rejected, but the charge was framed only under a section of the Bombay Police Act pertaining to prohibited assembly. The court had found that other offences under the Epidemic Diseases Act, Foreigners Act, Disaster Management Act, etc are not made out.
Magistrate Khan said in his judgment acquitting them that the accused persons are foreigners and they are not acquainted with the local language as well as law of the state. Regarding the infringement of the order under the Bombay Police Act, he said that the order was neither publicly promulgated nor brought to their notice.
The court further observed that the versions of prosecution witnesses are contrary to documentary evidence on record and that the prosecution has not recorded evidence of any independent witness.
None of the examined witnesses have occasion to see accused persons in the form of assembly…There is no iota of evidence with prosecution to show any contravention of order beyond all shadow of doubt.
News Edit by K.V.Raman