Last week, on September 30th, 2020, the Allahabad High Court passed an order that stated that all the cases that are related to Tablighi Jamaat in Kanpur, Gorakhpur, Prayagraj, Varanasi, and Lucknow Zones have to be transferred to the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Lucknow. In a similar fashion, all the pending cases in the Agra and Meerut Zones have to be transferred to the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Meerut. Likewise, the pending cases in the Bareilly Zone have to be transferred to the Chief Judicial (10) Magistrate, Bareilly.
The Division Bench comprising of Hon’ble Justices Shashi Kant Gupta and Justice Shamim Ahmed heard the petition that was filed on behalf of the State of U.P. pursuant to an order dated August 6th, 2020 that was passed by the Supreme Court. The prayer in the aforementioned order was, “To transfer the cases registered against the members of Tablighi Jamaat in different districts within their concerned zones or pass such other or further orders, which this Court may deem fit.”
The case regarding Tablighi Jamaat was prosecuted against some foreigners who visited New Delhi to attend the conference. They violated the guidelines of the pandemic laid down by the Ministry of Home Affairs. They also committed penal offences.
Maulana Ala Hadrami filed a petition before the Supreme Court and challenged such criminal prosecution against Tablighi Jamaat. A grievance that was raised that there were multiple criminal cases that were pending against the members of Tablighi Jamaat across the State of Uttar Pradesh. However, there was no uniformity in regard to bails that were granted. A grievance was also raised regarding the pendency of proceedings with respect to this case in different courts.
Thus, the bench that comprised of Hon’ble Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari, and Sanjiv Khanna directed the State Government to approach the Allahabad High Court’s Principal Bench with an application that would decide how many courts would take up the pending trials against the Tablighi Jamaat across the State of Uttar Pradesh
The court held, “The prosecution in the present set of cases (State of Uttar Pradesh) shall forthwith move a formal application before the Principal Seat of the Allahabad High Court for appropriate relief(s), which we are certain would be considered in light of and in terms of order dated 06.08.2020 in reference to similar cases in the N.C.T. of Delhi. The application to be moved by the State of Uttar Pradesh may be dealt with preferably by the senior-most Judge of the Allahabad High Court, taking up the criminal assignment, expeditiously. After the application is moved by the State of Uttar Pradesh and is disposed of by the High Court, the Trial Court(s) shall endeavor to dispose of the concerned criminal cases within eight weeks from the date the same is transferred to such Court(s). We place on record that the parties have assured this Court that complete cooperation will be extended to the trial Court(s) for expeditious disposal of pending criminal cases including to participate in the proceedings through video conferencing."
The writ petition was disposed of.