Updated: December 6, 2021 6:47:40 pm
The Delhi High Court Monday directed the Delhi Police to state on record whether there was any prohibition on providing accommodation by locals to foreign nationals who had come with valid passports and visas to attend the Tablighi Jamaat congregation last year, and slammed the prosecution for failing to respond to the court’s queries in the matter.
Justice Mukta Gupta, during hearing of the petitions seeking quashing of FIRs against Delhi residents who are accused of allowing the attendees – mostly foreign nationals – to live in mosques or their houses, told the police that its officers “don’t deserve to be investigating officers”, after the counsel representing the prosecution submitted that they were not aware about the dates when the foreigners had entered the premises in question.
“If there was no (lockdown) notification, everybody was free to live and when suddenly lockdown was imposed, people were static wherever they were. You have to find out that once lockdown was imposed, thereafter (if) the persons were moving here and there and had visited these places even when there were prohibitions,” said Justice Gupta, adding “that the problem is there is no investigation done in the matter”.
Pulling up the police for filing “half-baked” replies to the petitions, the court said, “You need to give me the material properly so that I can pass an order.”
The court later directed the DCP, Central District, to file a detailed affidavit in the case. It also asked the police to inform whether the petitioners are also facing charges in the main FIR related to the Tablighi congregation, and listed the case for hearing on January 4.
The court had last month questioned the police for registering cases against the Indian nationals and remarked whether there was any notification to throw people out instead.
“Suddenly a lockdown is imposed, where does one go? On the street? He will remain where he is. What is the offence committed? Is there any bar on residents of Madhya Pradesh to come and stay in Delhi or stay in any temple, masjid, gurdwara,” said Justice Gupta on November 12.
At least 48 people have been made accused in at least a dozen FIRs, which are under challenge before the High Court. Delhi Police in a written reply earlier told the court that Indian nationals “deliberately allowed” foreign nationals to live in the mosques or reside in their houses in violation of the notifications which were under operation in March last year.
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