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Drop airport scare on ex-Amnesty India chief, apologise: Tribunal at CBI


The court also suggested that the CBI director apologize to Mr Patel.

New Delhi:

A Delhi court today ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to immediately withdraw the surveillance circular issued against former Indian chief of Amnesty International, Aakar Patel, in a case under the Regulation Act Foreign Contributions (FCRA). Mr Patel had moved the court after he was prevented from boarding a flight to the United States yesterday. He asked the court for permission to travel to the United States until May 30, 2022.

The court also suggested that the CBI director apologize to Mr Patel, acknowledging a misconduct on the part of his subordinate.

“In this case, a written apology from the head of the CBI acknowledging the failure of part of his subordinate to the claimant would go a long way not only to healing the plaintiff’s wounds, but also to maintaining public confidence in the first institution,” said said the court.

In a strongly worded order, the court said the LOC should not have been issued “solely on the basis of apprehensions arising from the whims and fancies of the investigative body” and that the consequences for the rights of the person concerned should have been foreseen. before the publication of the circular.

“This act of the investigative agency caused a monetary loss of approximately Rs.3.8 lakh to the claimant/defendant as he missed his flight and he was not allowed to board due to the LOC issued against him” , the court added.

The writer-activist took to Twitter to share the news, where he also called the money laundering accusations against Amnesty “absurd”.

“The absurdity of accusing amnesty of criminality (of anything to do with money laundering). Ask the amnesty wallahs how hard it is to get a comma or an ampersand through a statement. C It’s a great organization that I’m proud and honored to call my community,” he said.

The Court also asked the Director of the CBI to sensitize the officials who are part of the publication of the circular. “It is further intended that the liability of the officials involved in this case be fixed,” the Rouse Avenue court said in ordering the removal of the line of control against Aakar Patel.

Mr Patel has publicly stated that his books critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi are likely the reason he has been barred from speaking at conferences abroad. “‘Price of the Modi years’ was released in November 2021. The following month the loc (Look out Circular) was opened,” he said on Twitter.

On Wednesday, he said he had been barred from traveling despite a Gujarat court order granting him permission “specifically” for the trip.

CBI sources however said that Mr Patel was cleared to travel to the US by a court in Surat in a case registered by Gujarat police but the lookout was opened against him in the part of another case registered by the agency against Amnesty. International India and others for alleged violations of the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA) relating to foreign funding of Rs 36 crore.

Mr Patel had approached a CBI court in Delhi asking the agency to withdraw the Look Out circular issued against him.

The CBI had filed a complaint against Amnesty International India and three of its associated organizations in November 2019, following a complaint filed by the Home Ministry for alleged violation of the provision of the Foreign Contribution Act 2010 (regulation) and the Indian Penal Code.

The case was filed against Amnesty International India Pvt Ltd (AIIPL), Indians For Amnesty International Trust (IAIT), Amnesty International India Foundation Trust (AIIFT), Amnesty International South Asia Foundation (AISAF) and others.

According to the complaint filed by the Home Office, a payment of Rs 10 crore, classified as foreign direct investment, was remitted to Amnesty India from its office in London. Another Rs 26 crore was donated to Amnesty India, “mainly by UK-based entities”.

Amnesty’s offices in Bangalore had been raided by the Directorate of Law Enforcement in 2018 in connection with a foreign exchange contravention case.

The group also faced sedition charges, later dropped, at a 2016 event to discuss alleged human rights abuses in Kashmir.



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