Nizamuddin Markaz: Brit national challenges charge sheet and LOC, HC seeks Centre, Delhi Govt stand

The Delhi High Court has sought response of the Centre, police and AAP government on a plea by a British national, who attended the religious congregation at Nizamuddin Markaz, seeking quashing of the charge sheet and the look out circular (LOC) against him.
Justice A J Bhambhani issued notice to the Bureau of Immigration under the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Delhi government and Crime Branch of Delhi Police seeking their stand on the British national’s plea.
The British national, Suhail Shaik, has also sought stay on proceedings emanating from the charge sheet filed in a metropolitan court at Saket here.
The high court on Tuesday listed the matter for further hearing on July 2. Delhi government standing counsel Rahul Mehra and advocate Chaitanya Gosain accepted notice on behalf of the state and police.
Mehra also submitted that the petitioner has already deposited his passport with the investigating officer and has also given an undertaking to cooperate and participate in the trial proceedings.
In the circumstances, there is no urgency in the matter, he told the high court.
The British national, in his plea, has contended that he holds an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card and therefore, the Foreigners Act is not applicable to him and there is no basis for issuance of the LOC.
He said he came to know about the LOC when he tried to board a flight back to Britain on April 27.
He was also handed a notice informing him that he would be investigated in connection with the FIR lodged against Maulana Saad and the Markaz management on March 31, the petition has said.
His passport and OCI card were also taken away, it has said.
Thereafter, when repeated requests for return of his OCI card and passport were allegedly not heeded by the Crime Branch, he filed an application in the trial court for return of the same, his petition has said.
It has further said that before the trial court, the police filed a reply stating that their investigation revealed that several foreigners here on tourist visa had attended the Markaz event in violation of the Foreigners Act and the Visa conditions and therefore, LOC has been issued against them.
Thereafter, on May 27, the police filed a charge sheet in the trial court in which the British national was also named and therefore, he moved the high court for quashing the same, the petition has said.
It has also said that the petitioner was not named in the FIR and he has not been summoned even though he has been named in the charge sheet.
The offences mentioned in the charge sheet include section 3 of the Epidemic Act, which provides for a penalty for violation of the Act, and sections 188, 269, 270 and 271, which deal with disobedience of a public servant’s order, negligent or malignant action likely to spread infection of a disease and disobeying quarantine — all of which provide for jail terms ranging from six months to two years or fine.
Offences under the Disaster Management Act, dealing with disobeying government orders for which max punishment is of two years jail term, were also mentioned in the chargesheet.