STATE TIMES NEWS New Delhi: A Delhi court on Friday allowed 62 Malaysians and 11 foreigners from Saudi Arabia to walk free on payment of fine of Rs 7,000 and Rs 10,000 each respectively, after they accepted mild charges, under the plea bargain process, related to various violations including visa norms while attending Tablighi Jamaat congregation here during the COVID-19 lockdown. Metropolitan Magistrate Siddhartha Malik passed the order after the Malaysians sought lesser punishment under plea bargain process by accepting mild charges. “Having heard both the parties, I find that the deposition worked out mutually by the parties is fair and just. Accordingly, the plea of guilty of the accused was accepted… “The convict has not been reported to be involved in any other offence and has accepted his guilt in the present matter. As per mutually satisfactory disposition between the state and the convict, the convict is found entitled to a lenient view while deciding the quantum of sentence. Accordingly, the convict is sentenced to imprisonment till rising of the Court along with a fine of Rs 7,000,” the court said in its order which is similar for all the accused. Metropolitan Magistrate Aashish Gupta passed the order in another case after the foreign nationals from Saudi Arabia accepted mild charges in exchange for lesser punishment under the plea bargain process. “The convict has not been reported to be involved in any other offence and has accepted his guilt in the present matter. As per mutually satisfactory disposition between the state and the convict, the convict is found entitled to a lenient view while deciding the quantum of sentence. Accordingly, the convict is sentenced to imprisonment till rising of the Court along with a fine of Rs 7,000,” the court said in its order which is similar for all the convicts. They were allowed to walk free after the Sub-divisional magistrate of Defence Colony, who was the complainant in the case, Additional Commissioner of Police of Lajpat Nagar, Station House Officer (SHO) of Nizamuddin Police station, said they have no objection to their pleas, said advocate S Hari Haran, appearing for the foreign nationals. After the Saudi Arabian nationals paid their fine, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Gurmohina Kaur allowed all the 11 convicts to be deported back to their country (Saudi Arabia) as per law and directed handover of passport and original documents, if any, to the investigating officer in the case. Under plea bargaining, the accused plead guilty to the offence praying for a lesser punishment. The Criminal Procedure of Code allows plea bargaining for cases where the maximum punishment is imprisonment for seven years, where offences don’t affect the socio-economic conditions of the society and when the offences are not committed against a woman or a child below 14 years. The court had on Thursday allowed 60 Malaysians to walk free on payment of Rs 7,000 fine each after they accepted a few mild charges under plea bargain process. They were granted bail earlier on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 10,000 each. They were charge sheeted for attending the religious congregation at Nizamuddin Markaz event in the national capital by allegedly violating visa conditions, indulging in missionary activities illegally and violating government guidelines, issued in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak in the country.
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