A plea was filed in the Delhi High Court on Monday seeking direction for forthwith transfer from Delhi Police to NIA the investigation of a case lodged against Tablighi Jamaat leader Maulana Saad for holding a congregation of the organisation's followers in alleged violation of the orders against large gatherings to contain the spread of coronavirus.
The petition, which was mentioned in the high court for urgent hearing and has been listed on May 13, said Delhi Police has failed to arrest the leader despite the lapse of considerable time.
Filed by Mumbai-based lawyer Ghanshyam Upadhyay, the plea sought direction to the Centre, Delhi government and Delhi Police Commissioner to hand over the probe from the Crime Branch to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) which should investigate the matter in a time bound manner and the probe be monitored by the high court.
The plea, filed through advocate Yash Chaturvedi, 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".
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 is a matter of record that local police, that is, Crime Branch is found to have miserably failed in tracing out/apprehending/arresting Maulana 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 the 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," it claimed.
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.