Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Hand over keys of Nizamuddin Markaz: Delhi HC grills police for continuing restrictions

Photo: Shaheen Abdulla/Maktoob

Delhi High Court on Monday grilled Delhi Police for continuing with its restrictions at Markaz Nizamuddin premises since March 2020. “I am not adjudicating the FIR for tile. You will hand over the keys,” the court directed the police, LiveLaw reported.

In response, Delhi Police told High Court that it will hand over the keys of Markaz to Maulana Muhammad Saad, chief of Tablighi Jamaat.

The Court was dealing with a petition filed by the Delhi Waqf Board seeking the full reopening of the mosque which was closed in March 2020 — the first week of nationwide lockdown.

Maulana Saad is one of the main accused in Delhi Police’s FIR registered in March 2020 alleging that several members of Tablighi Jamaat were living there in violation of Covid-19 norms.

Thousands of Tabhligi Jamaat members were in Markaz to attend a congregation held from March 13 to 15 2020, more than a week before the government banned public meetings due to the virus.

Even though the Markaz management cooperated with police to evacuate the building, police booked members, including foreigners under the Epidemic Diseases Act.

Senior Advocate Sanjoy Ghose appeared for the Waqf Board and argued that though the mosque has been allowed to reopen, some parts of the Markaz building are still locked and the key is with the Delhi Police.

Single-judge Justice Jasmeet Singh questioned the Police about whether it can be in the custody of a property like this on basis of an FIR registered under the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897.

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