The Bombay High Court on Friday quashed the FIRs filed by Maharashtra police against 29 foreign nationals for attending the Tablighi Jamaat congregation at Nizamuddin in New Delhi. Cases were also filed against 6 Indians and trustees of the Masjids for giving shelter to the petitioners
A Division Bench of Justice TV Nalawade and Justice MG Sewlikar of the Aurangabad bench reached the conclusion that no prima facie case was made out against the 35 petitioners before the Court, including several foreigners. They were booked under various provisions of IPC, Epidemic Diseases Act, Maharashtra Police Act, Disaster Management Act and Foreigner’s Act for allegedly violating their tourist visa.
In a strongly worded judgement, the division bench also came down heavily on media. It said, “There was big propaganda in print media and electronic media against the foreigners who had come to Markaz Delhi and an attempt was made to create a picture that these foreigners were responsible for spreading COVID-19 virus in India,” reported LiveLaw.
The court also added that the Markaz attendee were made ‘scapegoats’. the court said, “A political Government tries to find the scapegoat when there is pandemic or calamity and the circumstances show that there is probability that these foreigners were chosen to make them scapegoats.”