Visas of 2679 foreign Tablighis cancelled, individual order issued: Centre tells SC

The Central government was also directed by the top court to send copies of orders passed on visa cancellation to the petitioners by email to the counsels.

Written by July 2, 2020 13:05

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday adjourned till July 10 hearing on a batch of petitions challenging the blacklisting and cancellation of visas of foreign nationals who attended the Markaz Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Nizamuddin area here.

647 positive COVID-19 cases linked to Tablighi Jamaat congregation: Health Ministry

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Central government, submitted that orders for revoking the visas and blacklisting foreign nationals who attended Tablighi Jamaat congregation have been passed on a case to case basis.

After the Centre’s submission, a three-judge bench of the apex court headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar said that it will be open for the petitioners to file rejoinder affidavits on the matter.

The Central government was also directed by the top court to send copies of orders passed on visa cancellation to the petitioners by email to the counsels.

Advocate Chander Uday Singh, appearing for one of the petitioners, said that a one-line email stating that your visa has been cancelled was received by the petitioners.

200 people from Nizamuddin area taken for Covid-19 test after 7 report positive, area sealed

The Supreme Court had earlier this week sought clarification from the Central government on the orders blacklisting and cancelling visas of foreign nationals who attended the Nizamuddin congregation, which had reportedly become an epicentre for coronavirus across the country.

The petitions, filed by the foreign nationals from 35 countries, have sought directions to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to remove their names from the blacklist, reinstate their visas and facilitate their return to their respective countries.

Supreme Court

The petitions sought to declare the decision of the MHA of blacklisting the foreign nationals who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation as “arbitrary”.

“Unilateral blacklisting of 960 foreigners by the Home Ministry vide press release dated April 2, 2020, and the subsequent blacklisting of around 2,500 foreigners as reported on June 4, 2020, is in violation of Article 21,” the plea said.

More than 800 foreign Jamaat workers found hiding in Delhi mosques amid lockdown

“Therefore, it is void and unconstitutional as the petitioners have neither been provided any hearing nor notice or intimation in this regard,” it added.

These foreign nationals presently in India were blacklisted for a period of 10 years from travelling to India for their alleged involvement in Tablighi Jamaat activities.

The Home Ministry had said that foreign Tablighi Jamaat members, who were staying in India in violation of visa rules during the nationwide lockdown implemented to combat the COVID-19 spread, have been blacklisted.