Former Amnesty Chief Aakar Patel Says Stopped From Flying Again, Files Contempt Plea

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Former Amnesty India chief Aakar Patel on Friday said he was stopped from flying again, a day after a Delhi court delivered a sharp rebuke to the CBI over a lookout circular (LOC) against him. The activist has now filed a contempt petition against the central probe agency, as per Hindustan Times report.

This development comes in the wake of CBI on Friday moved a revision petition in Rouse Avenue Court for an urgent stay on the ACMM court order which had asked for revoking the Look Out Circular issued against journalist and human rights activist Aakar Patel in connection with the violation of the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA), as per news agency ANI report. The magistrate court on Thursday had also ordered the director of CBI to apologise to Aakar Patel.

Meanwhile, activist Aakar Patel also has moved a contempt application in the Rouse Avenue Court district court against the Investigation officer of CBI for allegedly non-compliance with the court order dates April 7, 2022, for withdrawing the LOC. Both the petitions will be heard by the Rouse Avenue Court today itself.

A Special Court on Thursday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to withdraw the Look Out Circular (LOC) issued against Patel. Despite the Court order on Thursday for withdrawal of a CBI Look Out Circular (LOC) against Aakar Patel he was prevented from flying out of the Bengaluru International Airport late on Thursday night, he also tweeted in this regard.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pawan Kumar of Rouse Avenue Court on Thursday said, “Considering the facts and circumstances of this case and the law laid down by the High Court of Delhi, this court is of the considered view that the LOC is liable to be set aside, therefore, the CBI is directed to withdraw/recall the LOC issued against the accused immediately.”

In the present scenario, the Director of CBI is expected to sensitize the officials who are part of the issuance of LOC. It is further expected that accountability of the concerned officials, in this case, be fixed, also said the court.

The CBI was directed to take the appropriate action and give intimation to the concerned authority regarding the same. A compliance report of the withdrawal of LOC will be filed on April 8.

“The fundamental rights of any person can not be curtailed without any procedure established by law. Apparently, the LOC in the present case was got issued in violation of the guidelines laid down by the High Court of Delhi and office memorandum of the concerned Ministry,” the Court said.

During the arguments, the CBI opposed the application saying that the charge sheet was filed without arrest and that the application was moved in anticipation that Patel will flee from justice, there was the likelihood of the accused fleeing from justice if he was allowed to leave the country.

Appearing for Aakaar Patel, advocate Tanveer Ahmed Mir submitted that citizens’ rights cannot be railroaded by an agency like this. The time has come that we should send a suitable reply to law enforcement/ agencies and society. He clearly said that the CBI concern Investigation officer has even failed to inform the applicant about the issuance of LOC against him.

Patel, who was stopped at Bengaluru Airport on Wednesday, moved the court sought removal and withdrawal of LOC issued against him.

Journalist and human rights activist Aakar Anil Patel on Wednesday stopped at the Bengaluru airport and was prevented from boarding a flight to the United States. The former chief of Amnesty International India took to their Twitter account, which is not verified, to tweet: “Stopped from leaving India at Bangalore airport. Am on the exit control list. Got passport back through court order specifically for this trip to the US.”

(With inputs from agencies)

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