“Stopped At Immigration Again”: Ex Amnesty India Chief After Court Relief


New Delhi:

Former Amnesty International India Chief Aakar Patel tweeted this evening that he has again been stopped at the airport from flying out. “Have been stopped at immigration again. cbi has not taken me off their look out circular,” read his post that came shortly after a special court ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation to “immediately” drop the lookout circular or airport alert against him.

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

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

Mr Patel had told the court that he was apparently on an “exit control list” because of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) case against the 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 is 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 the Amnesty International India and others for alleged violations linked to foreign funding.

The Special Court in Delhi strongly criticised 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 and he was not allowed to board because of the LOC issued against him,” the court said.

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