TJ: Court allows 62 Malaysians,11 Saudis to walk free on the fine of Rs 7k, 10K

New Delhi:  A Delhi court Friday allowed 62 Malaysians and 11 foreigners from Saudi Arabia to walk free on payment of fine of Rs 7,000 and Rs 10,000 each respectively, after they accepted mild charges, under the plea bargain process, related to various violations including visa norms while attending Tablighi Jamaat congregation here during the COVID-19 lockdown.

A lawyer, who appeared for the foreign nationals, said that Metropolitan Magistrate Siddharth Malik passed the order after the Malaysians sought lesser punishment under the plea bargain process by accepting mild charges.

They were allowed to walk free after the Sub-divisional magistrate of Lajpat Nagar, who was the complainant in the case, Additional Commissioner of Police of Lajpat Nagar and Inspector of Nizamuddin, said they have no objection to their pleas.

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Senior advocate S Hari Haran said another Metropolitan Magistrate Ashish Gupta passed the order in the case of foreign nationals from Saudi Arabia who accepted mild charges in exchange for lesser punishment under the plea bargain process.

Under plea bargaining, the accused plead guilty to the offense praying for a lesser punishment.

The Criminal Procedure of Code allows plea bargaining for cases where the maximum punishment is imprisonment for seven years, where offenses don’t affect the socio-economic conditions of the society and when the offenses are not committed against a woman or a child below 14 years.

The court had on Thursday allowed 60 Malaysians to walk free on payment of Rs 7,000 fine each after they accepted a few mild charges under plea bargain process.

They were granted bail on July 7 on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 10,000 each.

They were charge-sheeted 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.

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