Delhi HC permits businessman to travel overseas, suspends lookout circular temporarily

The Delhi High Court has suspended for three weeks the lookout circular (LOC) issued against a businessman and allowed him to travel abroad temporarily to meet his international defence clients in Malawi and Russia.

A bench of Justice V Kameswar Rao was hearing the plea stating that the lookout circular issued against Sanjay Soni by Deputy Director Bureau of Immigration of Ministry of Home Affairs from January 21 to March 4 prevents him from travelling overseas for six weeks.

Senior Counsel Saurabh Kirpal, who appeared for the petitioner, said his client is currently serving as director in three companies and has to travel to Russia and Malawi for a meeting with a client and Commander of the Malawian Defence Force and sought the quashing of the circular.

Soni is the director of three companies–Si2 Microsystems Pvt Ltd, IZMO Ltd., and Hughes Precision Manufacturing Pvt Ltd–dealing with the defence-related hardware and software of ISRO, Indian Army, Indian Air force. He also deals with international clients in the United States, Russia, Singapore, Israel, he said.

The court observed that Soni was earlier allowed to travel abroad for a period of four weeks. Allowing the interim relief, the court said he has to furnish a security of Rs 5 crore as a fixed deposit and a bank guarantee.

Also, he has to submit a copy of the air tickets and the complete travel itinerary of his stay abroad and also provide the functioning phone number there.

He has to return to the country within a period of three weeks of his departure, the court said.

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