Criminal Trident Pack: IPC, CrPC and IEA by Sr. Adv. G.S Shukla and Adv. Raghav Arora
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  • The Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court has quashed the FIR and the charge sheet against members of Tabhlighi Jamaat
  • The court sighted lack of evidence amongst other to drop charges
  • Bombay High Court: “Continuing with the proceedings would amount to abuse of the Process of Court”
  • 8 members of Tabhlighi Jamaat from Myanmar took a sigh of relief on 21st September 2020

LACK OF HINDI KNOWLEDGE LED TO FREEDOM

  • There unfamiliarity with Hindi language worked in their favour,
  • Court agreed to the fact that Myanmar nationals could not have held any Religious Discourse or Speech
  • Found on Record: They were reading Quran and offering Namaaz at a local mosque during India visit.
  • The court took into account statement of witnesses

THE TIMELINE ALSO FAVOURED THE ACCUSE

  • Members of Tabhlighi Jamaat came to India in March on Tourist Visa
  • They were resident in Delhi from 2nd to 5th March 2020
  • Reached Nagpur on the 6th March 2020
  • Were under the jurisdiction of the Nagpur Police from 11th till 31st March 2020
  • The Central Government had imposed lockdown in India citing the spread of Corona Virus pandemic from 22nd March 2020
  • They were shifted to the Markaz Centre in Nagpur and were told to stay in quarantine from 22nd March 2020 onwards.

BEING COVID NEGATIVE WORKED IN FAVOUR

  • FIR was registered against them during their stay in the quarantine
  • FIR filed under Provisions of Foreign Act, The Epidemic Disease Act 1897 and the Disaster Management Act, 2005
  • They were formally arrested during the institutional quarantine period
  • Report of being COVID Negative, made a relevant basis from the exemption from Sec.269 & 270 which was contemplated against them for spreading infection.

NO MATERIAL ON RECORD

  • No material found on record to prove that the applicants had indulged in any act which was likely to spread infection of COVID -19.
  • The Court also held that the investigating authorities acted without jurisdiction in registering the F.I.R. under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code based on a complaint of Police
  • The Court was also of the view that compelling the applicants to undergo the trial would be a grave injustice.

SUFFERED ENOUGH! NOW FREE TO GO!

  • The Bombay High Court had earlier quashed the FIRs filed against a total of 29 foreign nationals who were booked under various provisions of IPC under similar charges.
  • In June 2020, the Madras High Court had also quashed FIR against Tabhlighi Jamaat Foreign Nationals after observing that they had suffered enough. 
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