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HC says Tablighi Jamaat members just read Quran, offered prayers, quashes FIR

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MUMBAI: The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has quashed the FIR against members of the Tablighi Jamaat.

The bench of justice VM Deshpande and Justice Amit Bokar ordered that eight Myanmar nationals just read Quran and offered Namaz at the local mosque.

It said that the Tablighi Jamaat members were kept in isolation in the month of March under the supervision of Nagpur municipal corporation's zonal officer and there was no material record to prove that they indulged in any act that was likely to spread Covid 19. 

LiveLaw reports that the Court took into cognisance the fact that they didn't even know the local language and hence there was no question of them engaging in religious discourse or speech. The eight Myanmar nationals had come to India on a tourist visa. 

In April, they were booked under provisions of the Foreigners Act, the Epidemic Diseases Act and Disaster Management Act. They were arrested also. All of them were also kept in quarantine though the Covid test was negative. The court opined that allowing the proseuction to continue would be an abuse of the process of the court, and that compelling them to undergo trial would be grave injustice.

Hence, FIR and charge-sheet was quashed. Earlier, in a separate case, Bombay High Court had said that the Tablighi Jamaat members were made scapegoat and criticised the media propaganda against them. Besides, the Madras High Court had also quashed the FIR against Tablighi Jamaat members.