Seven foreign nationals who have attended a Tablighi Jamaat congregation in New Delhi during March have moved the Apex Court challenging the Home Ministry’s decision to blacklist them for their alleged involvement in the congregation which emerged as a major “Coronavirus hotspot”. Two of them hail from Thailand while there’s one each from Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Tunisia and Malaysia. They requested the court to intervene and remove them from the blacklist which forbids them from entering India for 10 years. 

The petition also sought to declare the MHA decision as “arbitrary”. The petition further stated that “Unilateral blacklisting of 960 foreigners by the Home Ministry vide press release dated April 2, 2020, and the subsequent black listing of around 2,500 forigners as reported on June 4, 2020, is in violation of Article 21. Therefore it is void and unconstitutional as the petitioners have neither been provided any hearing nor notice in this regard”. Investigators had earlier charged the chief of the group Maulana Saad with culpable homocide for its role in increasing Covid-19 infection. He has also been implicated in a money laundering case. Thousands of members gathered in the congneration, acrosss the country, over 15,000 cases were reported with link to this event. 

By- Durga Bhatt