Lookout circular row: CBI may challenge Delhi Court’s relief to Aakar Patel

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is likely to challenge the Delhi Court order, which directed the central probe agency to immediately withdraw the lookout circular issued against former Amnesty International India head Aakar Patel, sources said on Friday.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pawan Kumar of the Rouse Avenue court had on Thursday granted relief to Patel who approached the court challenging the CBI’s lookout circular which restrained him from boarding a US-bound flight from Bengaluru airport on Wednesday.

Apart from asking to recall the lookout circular, the court 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 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.

It had taken note of the submissions of Patel’s counsel Tanvir Ahmad Mir, who argued that the circular was issued without any procedure, and highlighted the fundamental rights of the writer.

There was no question of not cooperating with the probe agency by his client, he said.

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

Patel had previously worked on topics related to 2002 Gujarat riots and presented a report “Rights and Wrongs” and has been writing columns for publications in India and Pakistan.

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