Apex court granted 1 week time to centre to respond on departure of discharged Foreigners to Home Country:
On Friday, the center sought one week time before the Supreme Court as regards facilitating the departure of the 8 foreigners, accused in connection with the Tablighi Jamaat, to their home country in light of the order passed by the Revisional Court.
The bench of Justices A. M. Khanwilkar and B. R. Gavai were informed by Senior Advocate Menaka Guruswamy that the eight petitioners who were discharged by the Trial Court, as of today, are free to leave India and return to their home country as the revision against the discharge order filed by the State stands dismissed on 19.11.2020. Mr. K.M. Natraj, Additional Solicitor General sought one week’s time to take instructions as to whether the State intends to pursue the matter any further or facilitate departure of the petitioners to their home country in light of the order passed by the Revisional Court.It was also brought to the bench’s notice that the criminal cases pertaining to nine petitioners which have been entrusted to Saket Court are still pending due to unavoidable situation created because of promotion of the Trial Court Judge, and that a new Judge has been nominated to take up those cases. We hope that the Trial Court will do the needful to ensure that those trials are concluded expeditiously, preferably within six weeks from today as only two witnesses remain to be examined”, said the bench, requiring that a copy of this order be forwarded by the Registry to the concerned Trial Court Judge forthwith for information and necessary action through email/online.
Ms. Garima Prasad, counsel appearing for the State of Uttar Pradesh and Mr. Manish Kumar, counsel appearing for the State of Bihar pointed out that despite the peremptory direction given to the concerned courts taking up the cases pertaining to petitioner(s) in State of Uttar Pradesh and State of Bihar, the cases are pending even where the application for plea bargaining has been filed by the petitioner(s)
We hope that in the meantime the concerned courts will ensure early disposal of the cases and, in any case, the application for plea bargaining shall be disposed of before the next date of hearing of these cases, to be listed in the next week.
Finally, advocate Shoeb Alam submitted that certain petitioners have already moved the High Court for quashing the criminal case(s). “It will be open to the petitioners to request the concerned Court to which the case is already assigned or else the Chief Justice of the High Court, to take up the matter expeditiously. We hope and trust that considering the nature of the controversy involved, the High Court will give preference to this matter as a larger issue pending before this court in the present proceedings can be then proceeded with. On October 15, The Supreme Court allowed foreign citizens, who are facing criminal proceedings in Delhi for participating in the TablighiJamaat congregation at Nizamuddin Markaz during March allegedly in violation of visa conditions, to submit representations before the nodal officer proposed by the Central Government seeking permission to go back to their country of origin.A bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar ordered that such representations should be decided, preferably within a period of four days, but not later than a week from their receipt.Additional Solicitor General of India, K M Natraj, proposed the name of Joy Tirkey, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Delhi as the nodal officer to process the representations of foreign nationals facing cases in Delhi. The ASG told the bench that 8 of such foreigners were discharged by the trial court, and revision petitions have been filed against the order of discharge. The Court said that the discharged persons are at liberty to file applications seeking a return to the country of origin subject to giving undertaking and security before the trial court.The Supreme Court on November 2 had expressed the hope that the revision applications against the discharge of foreigners in connection with the Tablighi Jamaat be heard and disposed of expeditiously.