“A political government tries to find a scapegoat when there is pandemic… the circumstances show that there is probability that these foreigners were chosen to make them scapegoats”, states Justice Nalawade’s judgment
2. A Division Bench of the Bombay High Court at Aurangabad has quashed the FIRs filed against 29 foreign nationals and 6 Indians who were accused of participating in the Tablighi Jamaat congregation at Delhi without permission
3. Slamming the government for charging the petitioners on the presumption that they were already infected, and for the propaganda against the attendees of the markaz at Delhi, Justice TV Nalawade stated
4. Big propaganda in print media & 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
5. Court reviews the actions of the Central Government in handling Tablighi jamaat-
The Judge proceeded to find that there seemed to be an element of discrimination and malice in the filing of FIRs against the attendees (Tablighi).
6. Petitioners (Tablighi) told Court that they were visiting various places in India to observe Muslim religious activities & had informed the DSP about their arrival much before the crimes were registered against them. They informed local officers about their visiting masjids also.
7. Maharashtra Govt argued against Tablighis:
b. Religious places in Maharashtra were close after March 23
c. They did not voluntarily come forward even after public announcements asking Markaz attendees to get tested
8. Justice Nalawade found, Tablighis, “even under recent updated Manual of Visa, there is no restriction on foreigners for visiting religious places and attending normal religious activities like attending religious discourses
9. On the subject of propagation of Islam and the ambit of ‘discourse’ Justice Nalawade also said
10. He also stated that foreigners could not be prevented from visiting Masjids to observe religious practices, given the right to life and freedom of religion under Articles 21 and 25 of the Constitution
11. Court also noted that the complaints were registered in the backdrop of CAA-NRC protests in Delhi, which had a substantial number of Muslim participants
12 .It was indicated that even for keeping contact with Muslims of other countries, action will be taken against them. Thus, there is smell of malice to the action taken against these foreigners and Muslim for their alleged activities
13. 35 petitioners from Ivory Coast, Ghana, Brunei, Indonesia had filed a petition against Maharashtra Government