The Delhi High Court today has dismissed a plea seeking direction to transfer of Investigation from Crime Branch Delhi Police to National Investigating Agency (NIA) in a case lodged against Tablighi Jamaat leader Maulana Saad accused of organising huge congregation by Tablighi Jamaat with delegates from foreign countries and its members resulting in spread of COVID-19 virus.
The petition was filed by Mumbai-based lawyer Ghanshyam Upadhyay through advocate Yash Chaturvedi. The petitioner had also sought a direction to the NIA to investigate the matter in a time-bound manner and the probe be monitored by the high court, alleging that the Delhi Police has failed to arrest the leader despite lapse of considerable time.
The Petitioner had sought invocation of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and entrusting investigation to National Investigating Agency in the crime of organizing huge congregation by Tablighi Jamaat with delegates from foreign countries and its members/participants then knowingly spreading Coronavirus across the Country by visiting and staying at various places in the Country. Effect of this crime spans across India and its roots are not limited to India but prima facie also found to be abroad. Therefore investigating agency with capability to probe swiftly across the Country should handle the case. In order to forestall any attempt to destroy evidence so that conviction of all guilty persons is secured, investigation ought to be transferred at earliest.
The petitioner had contended that an FIR No. 63 of 2020 was registered at Crime Branch Police Station U/S 188, 269, 270, 271 & 120B of IPC, Section 3 of Epidemic Diseases Act, Section 51 & 58 of Disaster Management Act against the Maulana Saad. However, no offence under UAPA was registered in the FIR.
The petitioner had submitted that “its a matter of record that the manner in which the people of Tablighi Jamaat have been spreading the deadly virus all over the country, not only by defying the national lockdown, but also by assaulting Corona warriors who have been treating not only other Corona patients/victims, but these very members of Tablighi Jamaat and with the result, the Central Government was required/compelled to enact penal law by way of issuing an Ordinance during national lockdown for protection of Corona warriors.”
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