- Apprentice Lawyer
- Legal Jobs
A Petition has been moved before the Delhi High Court for the immediate release of 916 foreign nationals who participated in the Nizamuddin Markaz earlier this year, from institutional quarantine.
The habeas corpus petition was preferred by twenty foreign nationals who participated in the Tablighi Jamaat at the Nizamuddin Markaz in March 2020.
It is informed that after the emergence of COVID-19 among the participants of the Jamaat and the registration of FIR against the organisers of the event, all the attendees, visitors, organizers, members of the Markaz congregation, Indians and foreigners alike, were sent to an institutional quarantine.
The Petitioners have asserted that on May 9, while the Indian Nationals were released after they tested negative, more than 560 of these foreign nationals were directed by the Delhi Government to be sent to the custody of Delhi Police, despite their COVID-19 test being negative.
It is asserted that the power to grant police custody pursuant to the FIR vested with the Judicial Magistrate under Section 167 and 319 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and not the Delhi Government.
The Petitioners have thus sought a direction to end the "illegal detention" of 916 foreign nationals on the ground of it being in violation of Articles 14, 21 & 22 of the Constitution of India.
The Petitioners have informed the Court that they addressed representations to the authorities for their release and deportation process in pursuance to the Standard Operating Procedure but no steps have been taken.
When the matter was taken up on Friday, a single Judge Bench of Justice Navin Chawla opined that the petition should have been listed before the Division Bench.
Subject to the orders of the Chief Justice, the petition would be listed before the Division Bench concerned on May 26.
Senior Advocate Arvind Nigam with Advocate Ashima Mandla represented the Petitioners.
Standing Counsel Amit Mahajan with Advocate Mallika Hiremath appeared for Centre.
Advocate Satyakam represented Delhi Government.
Read the Order: