Court upholds order withdrawing LOC against Aakar Patel
A Delhi court on Saturday upheld an order directing the CBI to withdraw the lookout circular (LOC) against former Amnesty International India Board chair Aakar Patel.
Special Judge Santosh Snehi Mann, however, set aside the direction issued to the CBI director to apologise in writing to Patel for the agency’s action against him. “There was no occasion for the magistrate court to go into the issue of mental harassment or issue directions for compensation or written apology,” he said.
A magisterial court had on April 7 directed the probe agency to withdraw the LOC immediately and apologise to Patel, and file a compliance report by April 30. A LOC is an alert issued by law enforcement agencies to authorities in airports and seaports to stop a wanted person from leaving the country.
Patel had approached the magisterial court after he was stopped by immigration authorities at the Bangalore International Airport while boarding a flight to the US. He had claimed that the action was taken despite an order by a Gujarat court granting him permission to travel abroad.
The CBI had filed a chargesheet against Amnesty India and Patel, its former chief, for violations of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, last December. The Centre has given the go-ahead to the CBI to prosecute Patel for the alleged violations, paving the way for a special court to start proceedings.
(With Agency inputs)