A Jharkhand court has ordered the release of 17 foreigners after sentencing them to three months in jail for hiding in a mosque here after returning from a Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi earlier this year.

The court of Chief Judicial Magistrate of Ranchi, Faheem Kirmani, on Monday allowed the Tablighi Jamaat members to return to their home countries as they have already served the three-month jail term in judicial custody.

The court has also slapped a fine of ₹2,200 each on them.

The 17 persons partially pleaded guilty to the charges brought against them, including inadvertent action that could have spread the disease.

Also read: Ground Zero |Tablighi Jamaat Markaz — The story of India’s largest COVID-19 cluster

“They have served their sentence since their arrest from a mosque in Hindpiri locality of Ranchi on March 30 till the Jharkhand High Court granted them bail on July 15. They will soon return to their home countries,” defence counsel Abdul Allam told PTI.

The Tablighi Jamaat members are from Malaysia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Zambia and the Caribbean islands, he said.

A Malaysian woman of this group had tested positive for COVID-19.

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