*A farsighted and praiseworthy decision of the Aurangabad Division Bench of the Mumbai High Court.*
Justice TV Nalawade and MG Sewlikar have once again lit the candle of ‘Satya Meva Jayate’.
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A robust judiciary is one of the most important pillars of a democracy. For rule of law and justice for the downtrodden to be upheld, the integrity of the judiciary and the constitution must be safeguarded.
It is usually said that if justice is delayed than justice in denied but in India the truth is totally different. For justice, people lose years running pillar to post from the lower courts to the high courts or the supreme court. Eventually they lose their precious time, money and ultimately any hope of receiving justice. This has been going on since the independence of the country and there are no signs of positive change in the near future.
On 21st August, the Aurangabad Division Bench of the Mumbai High Court dismissed the FIR registered against the 29 foreign preachers, i.e members of the Tablighi Jamaat, saying that the government, in order to avoid its shortcomings and responsibilities made them scapegoats The court’s remarks are not specific to a particular case, state or city, but it is about all the foreign preachers in Delhi’s Nizamuddin Markaz and the March gathering wherein participants were accused of spreading COVID 19. They were harassed, FIRs were registered against them and they were jailed while all these foreign preachers had entered the country with all their travel documents and were screened at airports and guidelines were issued to them, which they they respectfully followed.
Observing the whole matter on August 21st, Justice TV Nalawade and Justice MG Sewliker dismissed the FIR filed against 29 foreigners who were present at the Delhi Center gathering.
The foreigners had been previously booked under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code, the Epidemic Diseases Act, the Disaster Management Act and the Foreign Visa Act, while their arrival was in accordance with the law. The court said that the activities of the Tablighi Jamaat were deliberately maligned whereas their activities have been going on regular basis since more than 50 years.
The court accused the Maharashtra government of acting hastily and politically under duress.
The court said in its observations that there was a lot of propaganda against foreigners coming to the Delhi center.
The best observation of the court is that Muslims from all over the world, inspired by the reform movement of the Tablighi Jamaat, keep coming to the Nizamuddin Center in Delhi and it continued throughout the year and there is a reasonable arrangement of accommodation for guests..
The court said that in the event of a sudden change due to the lockdown, we should have cooperated with these foreigners. It was our responsibility to help them because it is our culture to take care of the guests. On the contrary, they were harassed, humiliated and imprisoned.
Political governments look for ‘scapegoats’ in times of epidemics and natural disasters, this time the government found the scapegoats in the form of the foreign missionaries.
The observations and judgment of the Aurangabad Division Bench should be written in golden letters because as if I write down my observations of what has been happening in the courts for the last couple of years, I might end up in prison for contempt of court.
Anyways, hearty congratulations to Justice TV Nalawade and Justice MG Seoleker who have lit the candle of ‘Satya Meva Jayate’ once again.