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SC asks Patna HC to consolidate, transfer all Tablighi cases to one court

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court today directed Patna High Court that the multiple FIRs filed in Bihar against Tablighi Jamaat members be consolidated and transferred to one court in the state.

The court was hearing a plea filed by 34 foreign nationals challenging the decision of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to blacklist over 3,000 of them from travelling to India for a period of 10 years.

The foreign nationals were facing trial for the alleged commission of offences under provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946, the Epidemic Diseases Act, the Disaster Management Act, 2005, as well provisions of the Indian Penal Code.

The Centre has argued that “participating in Tablighi Jamaat activities” was a serious violation provisions of the Visa Manual, 2019 and is also a Criminal Offence punishable under Sections 13 and 14 of the Foreigners Act, 1946.

The Apex Court has given a week’s time to the Patna High Court for deciding which Court will try the cases against the foreign nationals. 

It was further directed that the trials be completed within eight weeks, in line with the order pertaining to consolidating and trying the FIRs filed in Delhi expeditiously.

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The Uttar Pradesh Government is expected to file its reply to a similar intervention Application pertaining to FIRs filed in the state.

The matter has been adjourned to September 3.

-India Legal Bureau

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