A Delhi court on Thursday allowed 60 Malaysians, who took part in the Nizamuddin Markaz integration, to walk free on the payment of fine of Rs 7,000 each, a lawyer said.
Metropolitan Magistrate Siddharth Malik passed the order after the Malaysians sought lesser punishment under plea bargain and accepted mild charges, the lawyer said.
They were allowed to walk free after the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Lajpat Nagar, who was the complainant in the case, Additional commissioner of Police at Lajpat Nagar and Inspector at Nizamuddin said they had no objection to their pleas, the advocate, S Hari Haran said.
The Malaysians were booked for violating visa rules and government guidelines by congregating at Nizamuddin Markaz during Covid-19.
The Malaysians had sought lesser punishment under the plea bargain process by accepting mild charges, the lawyer said.
Under plea bargaining, the accused plead guilty to the offence, praying for a lesser punishment. The Criminal Procedure of Code allows for plea bargaining in cases where the maximum punishment is 7-year imprisonment; offences don’t affect the socio-economic conditions of the society and the offence is not committed against a woman or a child below 14 years.
During the hearing, the foreigners were produced before the court and the concerned officials of their embassy were also present, said the counsel.
Hari Haran told the court that the alleged offences were committed inadvertently and not without any mal intention and would not be repeated.
The judge proposed a fine Rs 15,000 each on them to which the lawyer pleaded for a lesser fine saying some of them were students and retired persons and won’t be able to afford it.
The judge then imposed a fine of Rs 7,000 on them.
The Malaysian nationals were granted bail on July 7 on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 10,000 each.
The foreign Jamaatis were charge-sheeted for attending Tablighi Jamat Markaz at Nizamuddin in Delhi by violating visa conditions and government guidelines, issued in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak.
The Crime Branch of the Delhi Police had filed 48 separate chargesheets and 11 supplementary chargesheets against 956 foreign citizens from 36 countries for participation in the Tablighi Jamaat event.
The foreign attendees were charged with provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act, Disaster Management Act and provisions of the Indian Penal Code relating to spread of deadly disease and violation of orders of a government servant.