New Delhi: A Delhi court on July 16 allowed 22 Nepalese to walk free on payment of fine after they accepted mild charges, under the plea bargaining process, related to various violations including visa norms while attending a Tablighi Jamaat event during the COVID-19 lockdown, a lawyer said.

Metropolitan Magistrate Gagandeep Jindal allowed the foreigners to walk free on payment of Rs 4,000 fine each, said advocates Ahmed Khan and Fahim Khan, appearing for them.

The sub-divisional magistrate of Defence Colony, who was the complainant in the case, additional commissioner of police of Lajpat Nagar, inspector of Nizamuddin said they have no objection to the court's decision.

The court was hearing their plea bargain applications, under which, the accused pled guilty to the offence, praying for a lesser punishment.

The Criminal Procedure of Code allows for plea bargaining in cases where the maximum punishment is 7-year imprisonment; offences don't affect the socio-economic conditions of the society and the offence is not committed against a woman or a child below 14 years.

They were charged for attending the religious congregation at Nizamuddin Markaz in the national capital by allegedly violating visa conditions, indulging in missionary activities illegally and violating government guidelines, which were issued in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

Many foreign nationals were granted bail earlier by the court on a personal bond of Rs 10,000 each.