CBI to challenge court relief to Ex-Amnesty India chief

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will challenge the Delhi court’s order setting aside the lookout circular issued against Aakar Patel, former Amnesty India chief, sources said.

The central probe agency will file an appeal against the CBI court order this morning, the source added.

Patel tweeted last evening that despite the court’s order granting him relief, he was stopped at Bengaluru airport from flying out. “Have stopped at immigration again. cbi has not taken me off their look out circular,” read his post that came shortly after the special court ordered the CBI to “immediately” drop the airport alert against him.

A second tweet read, “immigration at bangalore airport says nobody at cbi answering their calls”.

Responding to this, the source said the special court’s order came around 4.30 pm yesterday and that the agency had been given 24 hours to comply with it.

Patel had approached the court after he was stopped from flying to the US from the Bengaluru airport. The court ordered that the investigating agency give him a written apology in view of the “mental harassment”.

Patel had told the court that he was apparently on an “exit control list” because of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) case against Amnesty International. This happened even after he got his passport back and the go ahead from a court specifically for a trip to the US between March 1 and May 30.

The agency, however, said the clearance for travel came from a Gujarat court in a case registered by the Gujarat police. The airport alert, the agency said, was in connection with a CBI case against Amnesty International India and others for alleged violations linked to foreign funding.

The Special Court in Delhi strongly criticized the agency, saying a lookout circular should not have been issued “merely on the basis of apprehensions arising out of whims and fancies of the investigating agency”.

“This act of the investigating agency has caused monetary loss of around Rs.3.8 lakh to the applicant/accused as he has missed his flight,” the court said.

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