Supreme Court nod for clubbing U.P. Tablighi cases

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to the consolidation of multiple cases being heard against foreign Tablighi Jamaat members across Uttar Pradesh.

A Bench led by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar asked the State government to approach the Allahabad High Court for a decision to specify the number of courts which can hear the trial. Right now the trials are spread across various judicial zones in the State.

The Bench also asked the High Court to identify the trial courts within a week. Once identified, the trials should be completed expeditiously within eight weeks

The court was considering the pleas made by foreign nationals facing trials across Uttar Pradesh. A similar plea for consolidation of trial made by members in Bihar was allowed by the apex court recently. In Delhi also, the cases of 10 foreigners were consolidated for hearing in one court in Saket district.

“There are eight zones according to the report given by the State. We are thinking of saying one court for every zone can conduct trial for cases in that zone,” the Bench observed during the hearing in the U.P. case.

Senior advocate Maneka Guruswamy, appearing for the applicants, suggested a total of only two or three courts to take up trials across the State.

She added that bail was being granted in certain cases in different zones, but the conditions imposed were not practical.

“Since physical courts are not functioning, though bail has been granted, conditions of bail cannot be fulfilled,” Ms. Guruswamy submitted.

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