The Allahabad High Court (HC) has directed that all matters related to the members of Tablighi Jamaat in Uttar Pradesh (UP) be heard by three chief judicial magistrates (CJMs) of Lucknow, Meerut, and Bareilly. The court also said the CJMs would decide these matters within a stipulated timeframe of eight weeks.
The court directed that the cases pending in Kanpur, Gorakhpur, Prayagraj, Varanasi, and Lucknow zones shall be transferred to CJM, Lucknow. Similarly, cases pending in Agra and Meerut zones are transferred to CJM, Meerut and those pending in the Bareilly zone are transferred to CJM, Bareilly. A two-member HC division bench, comprising Justices Shashi Kant Gupta and Shamim Ahmed, gave the order while disposing of a petition related to the trial of Maulana Ala Hadarmi and other members of the Islamic sect.
The court directed the UP chief secretary to transfer the criminal cases pending against the members of Tablighi Jamaat to the three CJMs of Lucknow, Meerut, and Bareilly. It also directed the registrar-general of Allahabad HC to monitor the progress of all such cases and submit its report to the chief justice within three months. The court passed these directions following a recent Supreme Court (SC) order, which had asked the HC to ensure that trials against the members of the Tablighi Jamaat pending in various district courts of UP be transferred to a maximum of two or three courts. An international congregation organized by Tablighi Jamaat at Nizamuddin in south Delhi in mid-March had turned out to be a super spreader of the raging coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. The health hazard had led to the initiation of criminal prosecution against many members of Tablighi Jamaat, including foreigners who had come to attend the congregation, for violating the Covid-19 pandemic guidelines. [READ ORDER]