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Tablighi Jamaat: “No Iota Of Evidence,” Mumbai Court Acquits 20 Foreigners

The court, referring to the evidence submitted by police officials, found that the accused had not committed a violation of lockdown or curfew.

A Mumbai court yesterday acquitted  20 foreign attendees of the Tablighi Jamaat event who had been charged under Section 135 of the Bombay Police Act for violating the prohibitory orders of the COVID-19 lockdown, Bar & Bench reported.

Metropolitan Magistrate at the Andheri Court RR Khan, in his order, noted: “There is no iota of evidence with the prosecution to show any contravention of the order by accused persons beyond all shadow of a doubt. There is no legal evidence adduced by the prosecution to show that accused persons infringed the notification lawfully made under section 37 of Bombay Police Act.”

The Mumbai police had charged the accused under Sections 188 (disobedience of order of public servant), 269 and 270 (acts likely to spread infection of dangerous disease) of the Indian Penal Code along with sections of the Foreigners Act, the Epidemic Diseases Act, and the Disaster Management Act.

The Sessions Court in Mumbai had earlier discharged the accused of the more serious offences of Sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 304(2) (homicide not amounting to murder).

The court, referring to the evidence submitted by police officials, found that the accused had not committed a violation of lockdown or curfew.

The court was made aware that “none of the examined witnesses saw the accused persons together in the form of assembly nor did they see the accused contravening any directions or order issued by the authority.”

“The basic principle of infringement of Section 37 of the Bombay Police Act is based upon public promulgation of orders. It is transparent that the order in question was not promulgated to accused persons individually,” the court noted.

The court, while acquitting the accused, cancelled all previous bail bonds of all accused and directed them to furnish fresh bonds of Rs. 10,000/- each.

 

 

 

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