A Delhi court Friday allowed 53 people from Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan and South Africa to walk free on payment of fines, after they accepted mild charges under the plea bargain process, related to various violations including visa norms while attending the Tablighi Jamaat event here during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Metropolitan Magistrate Archana Beniwal allowed 40 Indonesians, 12 Kyrgyz and One South African to walk free on payment of Rs 5,000 fine each, said advocates Ashima Mandla, Fahim Khan and Ahmed Khan, appearing for them.
The Sub-divisional magistrate of Defence Colony, who was the complainant in the case, Assistant Commissioner of Police of Lajpat Nagar and Inspector of Nizamuddin said they have no objection to it.
Till date 908 foreigners have been allowed to walk free on payment of varying fines after they accepted mild charges under plea bargain process and 46 foreign nationals have claimed trial before the court.
Under plea bargaining, the accused plead guilty to the offence praying for a lesser punishment. The Criminal Procedure of Code allows for plea bargaining in cases where the maximum punishment is 7-year imprisonment; offences don't affect the socio-economic conditions of the society and the offence is not committed against a woman or a child below 14 years.
The foreigners were chargesheeted for attending the religious congregation at Nizamuddin Markaz event in the national capital by allegedly violating visa conditions, indulging in missionary activities illegally and violating government guidelines, issued in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak in the country.
They were granted bail earlier by the court on a personal bond of Rs 10,000 each.