Delhi Police Wednesday opposed a plea in the Delhi High Court seeking direction that the NIA be handed over the investigation of a case against Tablighi Jamaat leader Maulana Saad for holding a congregation in alleged violation of the orders aimed at containing the spread of coronavirus.
A bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup Jairam Bhambhani, conducting the hearing through video conferencing, asked the petitioner to place the judgements in support of his plea to transfer the investigation from Delhi Police Crime Branch to National Investigation Agency (NIA).
The petition, filed by Mumbai-based lawyer Ghanshyam Upadhyay, has also sought direction to the NIA to investigate the matter in a time bound manner and the probe be monitored by the high court. It alleged that Delhi Police has failed to arrest the leader despite the lapse of considerable time.
Delhi government standing counsel (criminal) Rahul Mehra and advocate Chaitanya Gosain opposed the plea saying Delhi Police was conducting the investigation in a fair manner and argued that the petitioner has no locus standi to file the plea.
The court listed the matter for further hearing on May 28.
Advocates Subhash Jha and Yash Chaturvedi, representing Upadhyay, claimed that the crime branch of Delhi Police has miserably failed in tracing out/ apprehending/ arresting Saad despite lapse of considerable time and his photograph being published in electronic media.
"It is virtually impossible for Maulana Saad to hide himself for such a long time and that too in the capital of the country. Performance of Delhi Police has been pathetic from the very inception and outset. Failure of Delhi Police is explicit from the fact that despite there being lockdown and curfew like situation, Maulana Saad was able to arrange gathering of thousands of people belonging to Tabiligi Jamaat in the capital of India," the plea claimed.
It further alleged that "from media reports and evidence so far collected by Delhi Police Crime Branch, it is now axiomatic that Maulana Saad and his henchmen conspired to spread and transmit coronavirus in different parts of the country, with oblique and ulterior motive of causing massive deaths all over the country and thereby to derail the Government of India in preventing the deadly disease".
The Delhi Police's crime branch had on March 31 lodged an FIR against seven persons, including the cleric, on a complaint by Station House Officer of Nizamuddin police station here for holding a congregation of Tablighi Jamaat followers in alleged violation of the orders against large gatherings to contain the spread of coronavirus.
The Enforcement Directorate has also filed a money laundering case against Saad, trusts links to the Jamaat and others.
The plea alleged that the acts of omission and commission of Saad and his associates / Tabligi Jamaat constitute "terrorist acts/activities" as defined under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and claimed that the Delhi Police has failed to arrest the leader despite lapse of considerable time.
It said people of Tablighi Jamaat have been spreading the deadly virus all over the country not only by defying the national lockdown, also by assaulting corona warriors who have been treating the patients.