Court to issue ruling in CBI’s revision petition against Aakar Patel

The CBI on Tuesday told the court that Patel was involved in multiple cases even as Patel’s lawyers maintained that there was nothing to suggest that he was a flight risk

Amnesty International, Aakar Patel, Twitter, social media, offensive remark
Aakar Patel was to travel to the US to deliver lectures when he was stopped at the airport on basis of a LOC against him | File Photo: PTI

A Delhi court will pronounce its order on Wednesday on the CBI’s revision petition against a trial court order that asked the agency to withdraw a Look Out Circular (LOC) issued against Amnesty India’s former chief Aakar Patel.

The trial court also directed the agency’s director to issue a written apology to him.

The CBI on Tuesday told the court that Patel was involved in multiple cases even as Patel’s lawyers maintained that there was nothing to suggest that he was a flight risk. 

“Am I some Nirav Modi or Vijay Mallya?” the lawyers submitted on Patel’s behalf, referring to the businessmen accused of financial crimes who fled India a few years ago.

Patel was stopped from leaving for the US after the CBI issued an LOC in connection with a case registered against Amnesty International India in 2019 under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA). At the time, Patel was head of its Indian operations.

Special Judge Santosh Snehi Mann will pronounce the order on Wednesday as the stay on the additional chief metropolitan magistrate’s order on withdrawing the LOC will continue till the pronouncement.

The same day, a trial court will hear Patel’s contempt petition filed against the CBI after he was stopped from leaving the country a second time.

On Tuesday, the CBI prosecutor Nikhil Goel also informed the court that the prosecution sanction has been received in the FCRA case. Goel said Patel was involved in four cases, including one registered in Bengaluru.

Goel said that Patel “was the person responsible for controlling the organisation” and “funds or donations were used for commercial purposes”. “Money came not only from Amnesty UK but other UK firms,” the counsel said.

Reiterating his argument on the ACMM’s order, Goel said: “If the ACMM is right, then nobody should be allowed to open LOC if arrest is not made. LOC is a less coercive measure.”

Speaking about the lecture series that Patel was due to attend in the US, Goel said that the accused attended one session online and “this was always an option”.

Patel’s lawyer, Tanveer Ahmed Mir, said: “It is for the investigating agencies to put fetters once investigation is done. They have the power of compelling attendance of accused, witness and gathering evidence. My duty is to obey command.”

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