At least 70 foreign Tablighi Jamaat members, who were ordered to be deported on payment of fine by a Delhi court after they accepted mild charges related to various violations during the COVID-19 lockdown, have not been able to return to their countries as seven other FIRs are pending against them, their representatives claimed on Monday.
Police has moved the court for proceedings in these seven FIRs against the Tablighi members, who had participated in a religious congregation herein March, and the court will hear the matter on Tuesday, they said.
These foreigners from different countries including Djibouti, Kenya, Tanzania, Brazil, Sudan and Afghanistan, who were charge sheeted by the Crime Branch of the Delhi police in the case, have also been booked under the same charges in the seven FIRs filed by the local police, they said.
These seven FIRs were lodged at different police stations including Sadar Bazar, Seelampur, Jahangirpuri, Wazirabad, Dayalpur, but no summons were served to them or any charge sheet filed in the cases, claimed the representatives.
According to the FIRs, they have been booked for offences under sections 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 270 (Malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 271 (Disobedience to quarantine rule) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Epidemic Diseases Act.
The foreigners and their representatives came to know about the seven other FIRs when they reached the airport, a source said. Till date only 108 people have returned to their countries after the court's deportation order, the source said.
The court had passed their deportation orders after completion of their plea bargain proceedings in the case in which 955 foreigners were charge sheeted.
The foreign nationals were earlier booked for violating visa rules, violating government guidelines issued in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic and regulations regarding Epidemic diseases Act, Disaster Management Act and prohibitory orders under section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure.
They were also booked under sections 188, 269, 270 and 271 of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Epidemic Diseases Act. The punishment for various offences under penal provisions ranges from six months to eight years of imprisonment. The Centre has cancelled their visa and blacklisted them.
At least 9,000 people, including the foreign nationals participated in the religious congregation in Nizamuddin. Later, many of the attendees travelled to various parts of the country. An FIR was registered against Tablighi Jamaat leader Maulana Saad Kandhalvi and six others on March 31 on a complaint of the Station House Officer of Nizamuddin under sections of the Epidemic Diseases Act, Disaster Management Act (2005), Foreigners Act and other relevant sections of Indian Penal Code.
Kandhalvi was later booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder after some of the attendees of the religious congregation died due to COVID-19, police said.
First Published: IST