CJI Bobde likens mass farmer protests to Tablighi Jamaat event

The CJI made the remark that the farmers’ protests may lead to a “problem similar to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation.”

Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad A. Bobde voiced concerns about the farmers’ protests saying that the mass gatherings might lead to a problem like the Tablighi Jamaat “super-spreader” event in March of 2020. 

While hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) on Thursday that was accusing the Centre and Delhi government of failing to stop the spread of COVID-19, the CJI made the remark that the farmers’ protests may lead to a “problem similar to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation.” 

Addressing the Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta, who is representing the Centre, justice Bobde said, “Same problem will arise from the farmers’ protests… don’t know if they are protected from COVID-19.” 

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He further directed the Solicitor-General to keep the court informed on what guidelines are being issued to prevent such an event from happening again. 

The Solicitor-General replied that guidelines were already in place, and asked for two weeks to file a reply. He added that the investigation of the Tablighi Jamaat event was still being conducted by the Delhi Police. 

The PIL filed by Jammu-based advocate Supriya Pandita, who was represented by advocate Omprakash Parihar, sought a CBI probe for the circumstances that lead to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation at Nizamuddin Markaz and a large number of migrant workers who had gathered en masse at the Anand Vihar Bus Terminal, anxious to leave for their hometowns. 

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