The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday asked the government to furnish details of those who arrived in the state after attending a congregation of Tabligh-e-Jamaat in Delhi, and inform about the steps taken to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection due to them.
The congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area last month has turned out to be a hotspot of coronavirus.
A division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Ashutosh Shastri also directed the Central and state governments to inform what corrective or punitive measures were being taken, or can be taken, if the participants in the congregation in New Delhi were found to have traveled to India and within the country in violation of visa rules.
Many of the participants of the congregation had come from countries such as Indonesia.
The court passed the order, seeking replies by April 3, while hearing a “suo motu” Public Interest Litigation about coronavirus pandemic.
It observed that infections spreading from the religious congregation held in the national capital last month posed an equally big challenge to the nation “when it is already crippled with and is facing the challenge of dealing with the pandemic of coronavirus.”
Earlier in the day, the Gujarat government had stated that at least 1,500 people from Gujarat were present in Nizamuddin area of Delhi when the congregation was being held.
The court took cognizance of the coronavirus outbreak “suo motu” (on its own) on March 13 and sought response from the government about the measures it was taking to check it.
The matter was listed for hearing on April 4, but the hearing was advanced on the Chief Justice’s orders following media reports about the Nizamuddin event taking place despite warnings about such gatherings, and many of the attendees later traveling to other parts of India including Gujarat.
The hearing was conducted through video conference.