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Delhi High Court: Notice to Aakar Patel on CBI’s plea against quashing LOC

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A notice was issued to the former Amnesty India chair, Aakar Patel by the Delhi High court after the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) plea challenged the order by the special court quashing the Look-Out Circular (LOC) issued against Patel.

On April 16, the Special CBI Judge Santosh Snehi Mannupheld a Magistrate Court verdict that set aside the CBI LOC against Patel.

The special judge had put a stay on the direction to the CBI director for issuing a written apology that was issue s by the magistrate. The Special judge maintained that the LOC issued was wrong as Aakar Patel had always joined the investigation whenever called .He also added that Patel never did anything to hamper the probe or tamper with evidence in any sort.

The CBI in its plea before the Delhi High Court, said that the  Special Court and the Magistrate before it “completely misconstrued the scope and purpose of taking recourse” to an LOC.

The CBI has challenged the paragraphs 26 to 28 and 38 of the Special Court order which mention that recourse to an LOC can be taken only on co-existence of the following three circumstances:

1.Order for Look-Out Corner Notice can be issued only in cognisable offences

2.LOC can be issued if the Accused is deliberately evading arrest or not appearing in trial court despite non-bailable warrants (NBWs) and other coercive measures; and

3.Also LOC can be issued when there is a likelihood of the accused leaving the country to evade trial/arrest.

“It is respectfully submitted that if the rational of the Ld. Spl Judge is accepted then any investigating agency will have to first await for an accused to abscond and only thereafter it will be permitted to take recourse to the process of LOC,” the plea stated.

Additional Solicitor General SV Raju appeared for the CBI in the matter today said that if the  above definition and interpretation are followed, it would amount to the only power available to agency is that of arrest, it was submitted.

Aakar Patel was represented by advocate Saud Khan.

The case will be heard again on May 18.

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