Aakar Patel case: Delhi HC notice on CBI’s plea against trial court order

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notice on the plea filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) challenging the setting aside of its Lookout Circular (LOC) issued against the Amnesty India’s former Chairman Aakar Patel.

Seeking the response of Patel in the matter, Justice Yogesh Khanna slated the matter for further hearing on May 18.

During the course of the hearing, Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju appeared on behalf of the central agency while advocate Saud Khan appeared for Patel.

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The CBI had approached the high court against the April 16 trial court order which upheld an earlier court order that set aside the LOC. The probe agency was citing the order which favoured Patel and limited the extent of legal observations.

In the last hearing on April 27, Justice Talwant Singh had recused himself from the case.

The Special CBI Judge, Rouse Avenue Court, on April 16 upheld an earlier order directing the CBI to withdraw its Lookout Circular issued against Patel.

At the same time, the court set aside the direction issued to the CBI Director to apologise to Patel for the agency’s action against him.

“The direction of the trial court to the Director, CBI, to give written apology to the respondent accused, acknowledging the lapse on the part of his subordinate, to compensate for mental harassment, cannot sustain and is liable to be set aside,” the court noted in its order.

Prior to that on April 7, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pawan Kumar of the Rouse Avenue court had directed the CBI to immediately withdraw the Lookout Circular issued against Patel and also sought a written apology from the CBI director.

“In this case, a written apology from the head of CBI, i.e., Director CBI acknowledging lapse on part of his subordinate, to the applicant would go a long way in not only healing wounds of the applicant but also upholding trust and confidence of the public in the premier institution,” the court order read.

Journalist and writer Patel was on his way to the US when he was stopped from leaving the country at the Bengaluru airport citing a Lookout Circular issued against him by the CBI in connection with a Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, case.

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