By LE Desk

Lucknow, March 10: Holding them guilty of violating the Epidemic Act and the Foreigners Act, the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Bareilly, on Tuesday imposed fine on 21 members of Tabhligi Jamaat arrested from different parts of UP during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The court of CJM Yash Pal Singh Lodhi, while imposing fine on them, also ruled that their sentence of punishment was limited to the extent of term they had already spent in prison, the Hindustan Times reported.

Of the 21 accused, 16 were from Indonesia while others were from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

All of them had participated in the religious gathering held at Delhi Markaz prior to the lockdown.

However, after the lockdown was imposed, these Jamaat members had dispersed to various districts of Uttar Pradesh.

They were arrested from different places on charges of spreading Covid-19 infection and violating norms under Foreigners Act.

Of those convicted on Tuesday, eight Jamaatis hailed from Indonesia and were arrested by the police during lockdown from a religious place in Moradabad.

On March 30 last year, the police had also arrested eight Jamaatis from Indonesia and five other Jamaatis from a religious place in Nagina town of Bijnor.

The Jamaatis had moved an application seeking discharge from the charges of violation of Epidemic and Foreigners Acts.

However, their application was turned down after the hearing, after they submitted an application pleading for minimum punishment.

The court on Tuesday imposed penalty of ₹44,900 each on the Indonesian Jamaatis who were arrested from Moradabad and a penalty of ₹7,900 on the Indonesian Jamaatis arrested from Bijnor.

The court imposed penalty of ₹2,900 on other Jamaatis.

Earlier, the Allahabad high court has directed that all matters related to the members of Tablighi Jamaat in Uttar Pradesh will now be heard only by the CJMs of Lucknow, Meerut and Bareilly. It had also directed the CJMs to decide the matter within eight weeks.

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