A Delhi court will take up the trial of 46 foreign nationals in the Tablighi Jamaat Markaz case from August 10 after it wrapped up plea bargaining process for all foreign nationals impleaded in the case on Friday (24 July).
Lawyers Ashima Mandla, Fahim Khan, and Ahmed Khan, who represent the foreign nationals, said that 46 accused have claimed trial in the case.
Earlier in the day, Metropolitan Magistrate Archana Beniwal allowed 40 Indonesians, 12 Kyrgyzstan women, and one South African national to walk free after levying a penalty of Rs 5,000 each under the plea bargaining process.
Plea bargain is a pre-trial negotiation between the accused and the prosecution wherein the accused agrees to plead guilty in exchange for certain concessions by the prosecution.
The Delhi Police Crime Branch had named more than 900 foreign nationals in the case. An FIR was registered against Tablighi Jamaat leader Maulana Saad Kandhalvi and others on 31 March after hundreds of Jamaat followers, including foreigners, were found confined in Tablighi headquarters in Nizamuddin area of Delhi amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The accused have been charged under the Indian Penal Code, the Epidemic Diseases Act, the Disaster Management Act, and for violating prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
On 6 July, the court had noted that there was prima facie sufficient material on record to proceed against the accused under Section 14 (b) Foreigners Act, 1946 apart from above-mentioned statutes.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
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