Delhi Court Sets Aside LOC Against Aakar Patel, Asks CBI To Apologise

| Updated: 08 April, 2022 12:45 am IST
Former chief of Amnesty International India, Aakar Patel (file photo)

NEW DELHI: A court in Delhi on Thursday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to withdraw a Look Out Circular (LOC) issued against former chief of Amnesty International India, Aakar Patel in a case of an alleged violation of the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA).

The court said a “written apology” from the CBI director on behalf of the agency acknowledging the lapse on the part of his subordinate to Patel would help uphold the trust and confidence of the public in the premier institution.

The observations were made by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pawan Kumar, who passed the order and directed the probe agency to file a compliance report on April 30.

Patel was represented by Tanveer Ahmed Mir in the court, who had earlier also represented parents of Aarushi Talwar in the Allahabad High Court and won.

In the court, the CBI opposed the application of Patel saying there was a likelihood of him fleeing the justice if he was allowed to leave the country. The CBI said that Patel was highly influential.

The court noted the CBI submission that the investigation was continuing since 2021, and said if Patel was a flight risk, he would have been arrested.

“This court is of the considered opinion that in this case, a written apology from the head of the CBI i.e Director, CBI acknowledging the lapse on the part of his subordinate, to the applicant will go a long way in not only healing wounds of the applicant, but also upholding the trust and confidence of the public in the premier institution,” Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pawan Kumar said in the order.

CBI’s act has resulted in Patel incurring a monetary loss of around Rs 3.8 lakh, the court observed.

“In the case at hand, apart from the monetary loss, the applicant (Patel) suffered mental harassment as he was not allowed to visit on the scheduled time,” the order read on Patel’s request seeking monetary compensation.

The court said he was at liberty to approach the appropriate forum for the same.

Patel’s application had further sought the court’s permission to visit the US to take up his foreign assignment and lecture series organised by various universities till May 30.

Patel was stopped by immigration authorities at the Bengaluru International Airport on Wednesday while he was boarding a flight to the US.

The application claimed that the action was taken despite an order by a Gujarat court granting him permission to travel abroad.

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