The Delhi High Court on Friday sought response from Delhi Police in a petition preferred by Indian nationals associated with the Tablighi Jamaat for quashing of an FIR and subsequent criminal proceedings against them (Mohd Anwar vs State).
The matter was listed for hearing before a Single Judge Bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait.
The petition has sought quashing of FIR under 188/269/270/120-B of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and the subsequent filing of chargesheet.
The FIR was allegedly registered against the petitioners on account of their presence at Choti Masjid, FatakTeliyan during the nation-wide lockdown due to COVID-19.
As per the petitioners, the entire legal proceeding against them were wholly unwarranted, concocted, and untenable in law.
Calling the allegations unsubstantiated, embellished, and exaggerated, the Petitioners have contended that their mere alleged presence inside the Masjid along-with foreign nationals was not an offence, especially when there is no whisper of either any social gathering or any of them being COVID-19 positive.
“Even if the allegations made in the First Information Report, are taken at their face value and accepted in their entirety do not prima facie constitute any offence or make out a case against the accused; in the absence of prima facie evidence qua the Petitioners herein,” the petition states.
The petitioners have submitted that during the nation-wide Janta curfew and implementation of prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC, the petitioners were stranded inside the masjid during the lockdown.
The petitioners have argued that illegality of this nature which invades the personal liberty of citizens was liable to be questioned and struck down, the petitioners have argued, urging the Court to set aside the order of the trial court of taking cognizance of chargesheet.
Advocates Ashima Mandla and Mandakini Singh appeared for petitioners.
The matter would be heard next on March 8.