Friday, January 27, 2023

Special CBI Court upholds order directing CBI to withdraw Look Out Circular issued against Aakar Patel

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A Special CBI Court today upheld the order by the Magistrate court that sets aside the Look Out Circular (LOC) issued by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against former Amnesty International India chair Aakar Patel

Justice Santosh Snehi Mann, special CBI Judge has also, set aside the Magistrate direction to the CBI Director to tender a written apology.

The order on a revision application filed by the CBI was passed against the ACMM order which had set aside the LOC issued by CBI against Aakar Patel.

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The judge had earlier  put a stay on the order passed by the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) on April 7 pending the disposal of the revision petition filed by the CBI, as well as the contempt petition filed by Patel.

The order by Additional Metropolitan Magistrate was passed in Patel’s plea filed after he was stopped from boarding a flight to the United States (US) on April 6. Aakar Patel was not permitted to move out of country as an LOC was issued on his name.

Aakar Patel was issued LOC in relation to a case regarding evasion of FCRA Rules through “commercial” methods as Amnesty had remitted ₹10 crore and then ₹26 crore to its India entities without the MHA approval.

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Patel moved to a magistrate court, which set aside the LOC and also said that CBI director needs to tender apology

Post the withdrawl of the magistrate’s order,Patel rebooked the US tickets and again he was stopped at Bengaluru Airport on April 7 by immigration authorities, since the CBI had not withdrawn the LOC.

CBI did file a revision application before the special court assailing the magistrate’s order.

CBI advocate Nikhil Goel informed the special judge that the sanction for the LOC against Patel has been received and filed. He said that there were reasons for issuing LOC.

Patel on the other hand only asked

What material is available to show that my departure and my giving a lecture in Michigan University, Berkeley, etc would be detrimental to unity, sovereignty of the country?

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