Aakar Patel Case: Stay On Court Order To Withdraw LOC Extended Till April 16

| Updated: 14 April, 2022 1:12 pm IST
Former chief of Amnesty International India, Aakar Patel (file photo)

NEW DELHI: A special CBI court on Wednesday extended the stay on a trial court order for immediately withdrawing the Look Out Circular (LOC) against former Amnesty International India chief Aakar Patel.

Special CBI Judge Santosh Snehi Mann extended the interim stay on the trial court’s order, which also asked the CBI director to apologise to Patel, till April 16 when the court will pronounce its verdict on the revision petition filed by the agency.

The special Court deferred order on the revision petition filed by the CBI challenging magistrate order staying operation of LOC issued against Aakar Patel in a case of alleged violation of contribution under Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) norms.

The judge had stayed the operation of the order passed by the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate which also ordered the CBI director to make a written apology to Patel for the agency’s “deliberate” actions.

Meanwhile, the CBI has received the government’s go-ahead to prosecute Patel for alleged violations of the provisions of the FCRA.

Officials said the move would pave the way for a special court to take cognisance of the CBI chargesheet filed on December 31, 2021 and sought the government’s approval to prosecute the organisation as required under Section 40 of the FCRA.

The court is scheduled to take up the matter on April 18.

The CBI had issued a LOC against Patel on December 31, 2021.

Last week, the Judge had directed Patel not to leave the country without its permission.  He was stopped from boarding a flight to the US at Bengaluru airport last week on April 7.

On a reference from the Ministry of Home Affairs, the CBI had registered the case on November 5, 2019 and named Amnesty International India Private Limited (AIIPL) through its directors; Indians for Amnesty International Trust (IAIT) through its office-bearers; Amnesty International India Foundation Trust (AIIFT) through its office-bearers; and Amnesty International South Asia Foundation (AISAF) through its directors and others as accused.

The case alleged FCRA violations, involving Rs 36 crore, in receiving funds from Amnesty International-UK through AIIPL, despite the fact that prior registration or permissions had been denied to AIIFT and other Trusts.

Amnesty International-UK and some other entities based in the United Kingdom sent funds to Amnesty India allegedly via commercial channels.

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