None of the 956 foreign nationals, who attended the Tablighi Jamaat's congregation in Delhi for the Markaz event, will be tried for serious charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder or the attempt to commit the crime.
In what may bring big relief to the foreigners, the Delhi Police have decided not to charge any of them under stricter offences. These nationals, belonging to 36 countries, can only be tried for violating Covid-19 rules and visa norms under relevant provisions of the law.
The police have made a categorical statement before a Delhi court that there is no evidence to link any of the 956 foreign national with graver charges under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
In a report to Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Gurmohina Kaur, the investigating officer has stated that the chargesheets filed against 956 foreigners do not invoke charges under Sections 304, 308, 336 pr 120B of the IPC.
While Sections 304 and 308 relate to culpable homicide amounting to murder and the attempt to commit the crime, Section 336 is for acts endangering life or personal safety of others. Section 120B talks about criminal conspiracy.The maximum punishment under these charges could go up to 10 years in jail, apart from monetary penalty.
In the court, the police report submitted that 48 chargesheets and 11 supplementary chargesheets have been filed till date. "During investigation no evidence came against above foreigners under Sections 304/308/336/120B IPC, hence they were not charge sheeted in the above offences," it read.
The report added that the investigation in 48 chargesheets and 11 supplementary chargesheets has been completed and that "no further investigation is pending against the 956 foreigners."
The police, however, also maintained that the investigation against other accused persons is pending under stringent provisions of the IPC. This means Tablighi Jamaat leaders, including Maulana Saad and his son, continue to be investigated for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, but the foreign nationals are now off the hook.
The clarification was sought by the magistrate when these foreign nationals, belonging to countries such as Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Fiji, Afghanistan, China, UK, Russia, USA etc, sought bail in their cases.
The magistrate wanted to know if the Delhi Police have invoked graver charges relating to culpable homicide against any of them. The clarification by the police opens up their possibilities to go back home without protracted trial or long incarceration.