A habeas corpus petition has been moved before the Delhi High Court for the immediate release of 916 foreign nationals who were in Nizammudin Markaz earlier this year, from institutional quarantine.
The petition was moved by twenty foreign nationals who participated in the Tablighi Jamaat in March 2020.
It is informed that after few participants had tested positive for COVID-19 who had particiapted in Nizammudin Markaz .
An FIR was registered against the organizers, all the attendees, visitors, organizers, members of the Nizammudin Markaz congregation, Indians and foreigners alike, were sent to an institutional quarantine.
The Petitioners have asserted that while the Indian Nationals were released on May 9 after they tested negative, more than 560 foreign nationals were directed to be sent to the custody of Delhi Police by the state government, despite being tested negativefor COVID-19.
It is asserted that the power to grant police custody pursuant to the FIR against the participants of Nizammudin Markaz was 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 sought a direction to end the “illegal detention” of 916 foreign nationals on the ground of it is violative of their rightsunder Articles 14, 21 & 22 of the Constitution of India.
The Petitioners have informed the Court that they had addressed representations to the authorities for their release and deportation process in pursuance to the Standard Operating Procedure but to no vail.
When the matter was taken up on Friday, a single Judge Bench of Justice Navin Chawla opined that the petition should be listed before a Division Bench.
Subject to the orders of the Chief Justice, the petition would now be listed before the concerned Division Bench on May 26.
Petitioners- Senior Advocate Arvind Nigam with Advocate Ashima Mandla
Centre- Standing Counsel Amit Mahajan with Advocate Mallika Hiremath
Delhi Government- Advocate Satyakam
Read the petition below: