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

ANI | Updated: Sep 01, 2020 23:06 IST

New Delhi [India], Sep 1 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the consolidation of multiple FIRs filed in Bihar against foreign nationals, who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi's Nizamuddin area, and ordered the transfer of all cases before one court.
The Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna asked the State of Bihar and foreign nationals to approach the Patna High Court for transfer of all cases pending before different Courts to one Court.
It directed Patna High Court to decide the issue within a period of one week of transferring all cases to one Court and also asked trial Court to decide the criminal case within eight weeks from the date it is transferred.
"By these applications, the intervenors seek directions to transfer pending criminal cases instituted against the respective applicant(s) in different districts throughout the State of Bihar to one Court in district Patna and to issue directions to expeditiously dispose of the stated cases...Counsel appearing for the State of Bihar has no objection in this behalf," the Bench stated in it's order.
"In our opinion, the prosecution must forthwith move a formal application before the High Court for such relief, which we are certain would be considered appropriately in light of and on similar terms vide order of this Court dated August 6, 2020, in reference to similar cases in the NCT of Delhi. After the High Court allows the proposed application of the State, the trial court may make an endeavour to dispose of the concerned criminal case within eight weeks from the date it is transferred. If the State of Bihar fails to move an application before the High Court within one week from today, as indicated earlier, it will be open to the applicants either individually or together to move a formal application(s) before the High Court of Patna, after one week from today and such application(s), if filed, be considered by the Court expeditiously, preferably within one week from the date of the institution," the top court order further stated.

The Bench accepted the assurance of the counsel appearing for the State of Bihar that needful will be done by the State within one week from today.
On August 25, the apex court had sought a response from the Bihar government in the application filed by 30 foreign nationals who are accused in 6 FIRs and undergoing trial in different courts in Bihar.
The foreign national had sought similar relief of consolidated FIRs and expedited trial, as had been granted by Supreme Court with respect to the 34 petitioners from Delhi.
The main case pertains to plea challenging blacklisting of foreign nationals by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs for their alleged involvement in Tablighi Jamaat activities at Delhi's Nizamuddin Markaz in March.
Several foreign nationals had attended the Markaz Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Nizamuddin congregation, which had become an epicentre for coronavirus spread across the country. (ANI)