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‘Tablighi Jamaat Members Were Made Scapegoats’: Bombay HC Quashes FIRs Against Them

by GoNews Desk 2 months ago Views 1532
‘Tablighi Jamaat Members Were Made Scapegoats’: Bo
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The Bombay High Court on Saturday quashed the FIRs filed against a total of 29 foreign nationals attending the Tablighi Jamaat congregation at Nizamuddin in Delhi.

In a strong-worded judgement, a division bench of Justice TV Nalawade and Justice MG Sewlikar said, “It appears that the State Government acted under political compulsion and police also did not dare to exercise powers given to them under provisions of procedural laws and substantive laws. 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.”

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All the petitioners 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 conditions by attending the Tablighi Jamaat congregation at Nizamuddin in Delhi.

Justice Nalawade observed-

"The material on the record shows that Tabligh Jamaat is not a separate sect of Muslim, but it is the only movement for reformation of religion. Every religion has evolved over the years due to reformation as reformation is always necessary due to the changes in society and the development achieved in the material world. In any case, even from the record, it cannot be inferred that the foreigners were spreading Islam religion by converting persons of other religion to Islam. The record shows that the foreigners were not talking Indian languages like Hindi or Urdu and they were talking languages like Arabian, French etc. In view of the aforesaid discussion, it can be said that the foreigners may have intention to know the ideas of Tabligh Jamamat about the reformation.

The allegations are very vague in nature and from these allegations inference is not possible at any stage that they were spreading Islam religion and there was intention of conversion. It is also not the case that there was an element of persuasion on any point from these foreigners."

Criticising the media's portrayal of foreign nationals who attended Tablighi Jamaat, Justice Nalawade specified-

"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. There was virtually persecution against these foreigners.

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. The aforesaid circumstances and the latest figures of infection in India show that such action against present petitioners should not have been taken. It is now high time for the concerned to repent about this action taken against the foreigners and to take some positive steps to repair the damage done by such action."

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