New Delhi, July 2: The Supreme Court adjourned Thursday to July 10 the hearing on a batch of petitions challenging the blacklisting and cancellation of visas of foreign nationals who attended the congregation Markaz Tablighi Jamaat in the region of Nizamuddin here.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the central government, argued that the orders to revoke visas and blacklist foreign nationals who frequented the Tablighi Jamaat congregation were adopted on a case-by-case basis.
After the Centre’s submission, a bench of three judges from the Supreme Court, headed by Judge AM Khanwilkar, declared that it would be open to the applicants to file reply affidavits on the issue.
The central government has also been ordered by the Supreme Court to send copies of the visa cancellation orders to the petitioners by email to the lawyers.
Lawyer Chander Uday Singh, who appeared for one of the petitioners, said that a one-line email indicating that your visa had been canceled had been received by the petitioners.
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court asked the central government for clarification on the blacklisting and visa cancellation orders of foreign nationals who frequented the congregation of Nizamuddin, which is believed to have become the epicenter of the coronavirus. country.
The petitions, filed by foreign nationals from 35 countries, asked the Interior Ministry (MHA) for instructions to remove their names from the blacklist, restore their visas and facilitate their return to their respective countries.
The petitions sought to declare the decision of the MHA to blacklist foreign nationals who frequented the Tablighi Jamaat congregation “arbitrary”.
“The unilateral blacklist of 960 foreigners by the Interior Ministry press release dated April 2, 2020, and the subsequent blacklist of approximately 2,500 foreigners as reported on June 4, 2020, violates Article 21 “said the plea.
“Therefore, it is void and unconstitutional because the petitioners have received no hearing, no notice, no notice in this regard,” he added.
These foreign nationals currently in India have been blacklisted for a period of 10 years after traveling to India for their alleged involvement in the activities of Tablighi Jamaat.
Interior Ministry said foreign members of Tablighi Jamaat who were staying in India in violation of visa rules during the national lockdown applied to combat the spread of COVID-19 have been blacklisted .