The CBI on Wednesday petitioned Delhi High Court challenging a special court order that quashed a lookout circular against Amnesty International India chairperson Aakar Patel in connection with alleged foreign exchange violations.
Justice Talwant Singh, before whom the matter came up, recused himself from the case, which will be heard on May 13.
During the brief hearing on Wednesday, additional solicitor-general S.V. Raju, representing the CBI, specifically challenged certain paragraphs of the special court order that said a lookout circular can be issued only if three circumstances coexist. These are:
- The offence is cognisable;
- The accused has been evading arrest or failing to appear in the trial court despite non-bailable warrants and other coercive measures;
- The accused is likely to leave the country to evade trial or arrest.
“If the rationale of the special judge is accepted, the agency will have to wait for an accused to abscond before it can issue a lookout circular,” a CBI official told The Telegraph.
On April 16, the special court had ruled Patel was free to fly abroad subject to conditions, upholding a magistrate’s order that had asked the CBI to withdraw the lookout circular against Patel.
Patel, scheduled to deliver lectures at several US universities, had earlier been stopped twice from flying out of Bangalore airport. He is still in India, his lawyer said.