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Delhi court grants relief to Amnesty India head Aakar Patel, directs CBI to withdraw LOC

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Relief has been granted to the former Amnesty International India head Aakar Patel by a Delhi court on Thursday while the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been instructed to withdraw the Look Out Circular (LOC) issued against him.

The CBI had opposed Patel’s petition against the LOC which had been issued citing alleged violations of the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA).

Pawan Kumar, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Rouse Avenue Courts, had reserved the order after hearing submissions by both the lawyers of both the sides.

The CBI had opposed the application saying that the charge sheet was filed without arrest and they believe that there is a likelihood of the accused fleeing from justice if he was allowed to leave the country.

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Advocate Tanveer Ahmed Mir who appeared for Aakar Patel submitted that citizens’ rights cannot be outrightly questioned by an agency. He further said that it is about time that law enforcement agencies should know this and stop making things difficult.

Advocate Mir said that the concerned investigation officer from CBI was not vigilant enough to  inform the applicant about the issuance of LOC against him, failing which Patel was put to a direct prejudice and he lost about 3 lakhs and 80 thousand which must be paid by the investigation officers to him from his salary.

Aadar Patel who was stopped at Bengaluru Airport on Wednesday went to the court for seeking removal and withdrawal of LOC issued.

The petition of Aadar Patel stated that he was supposed to deliver a lecture on April 8 and needed to travel urgently to USA therefore, it would be appropriate and in the interest of justice to suspend the LOC so that he could travel to USA for the pre-arranged program.

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Aadar Patel also had this grievance that he was prevented from travelling to the US despite a having a Gujarat court order specially granting him permission for the said trip.

The former Amnesty International India chief wrote on his twitter that  took to his “Stopped from leaving India at Bangalore airport. Am on the exit control list.

The application for the passport to the court was tagged to Prime Minister’s Office by the former Amnesty Chief. He also shared the Gujarat court’s ruling showing that the judge had ordered his passport to be returned and allowed him to travel to the US between March 1 and May 30.

Patel also tweeted that “CBI officer called to say I am on the Look-Out Circular because of the case Modi government has filed against Amnesty International India.

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