Aakar Patel Moves Contempt Plea Against CBI For Not Following Delhi Court’s Order

New Delhi: Former Amnesty International India Chief Aakar Patel has moved a contempt plea before Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court against the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) over non compliance of judicial order directing the agency to withdraw look out notice issued by it against Patel.

The matter will be heard by Link Judge Dharmendra Singh.

Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court had ordered the Central Bureau of Intelligence (CBI) to withdraw the lookout notice issued against Aakar Patel. CBI’s Director was asked to give a written apology, acknowledging the lapse on part of his subordinate to the application would go a long way in not only healing the wounds of the applicant but also upholding the trust and confidence of the public in the premier institution.

However, yesterday night Patel was stopped again from travelling to the United States at the Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru.

In the contempt plea, Patel has said that the investigating officer of the case, Himanshu Bahuguna, was present in the court at the time of pronouncement of the order and was in no unequivocal terms directed by the Court to immediately withdraw the lookout notice. He was also informed that Patel wants to board the 12:30 AM flight in the on Thursday night in order to make himself available for the scheduled lecture at University of Michigan.

Patel was again stopped by the immigration check at the Bengaluru International Airport in the link with same lookout notice, and in derogation of the Court’s order, instead of cooperating with the immigration and being available for compliance, the IO switched off his mobile phone.

The plea state, “The act of the Investigating Officer in switching off his mobile phone speaks volumes about the intention of the Respondent agency in bulldozing the valuable fundamental rights of the applicant…(he) most cleverly decided to switch off his mobile phone with a clear intention and successful attempt to thwart and strangulate the valuable rights of the Petitioner.”

The court also noted that Patel had suffered loss of around Rs. 3.8 lakhs, as he missed his flights due to the lookout notice. Now, Patel claims to have suffered a further loss of Rs. 5.6 lakh.

Finding that the issuance of LOC (Look Out Circular) was a “deliberate act” of the investigating agency to put restriction on the valuable rights of the accused, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pawan Kumar had said, ” In this case, a written apology from 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 applicant but also upholding trust and confidence of the public in the premier institution…A copy of the order be accordingly sent to Worthy Director, CBI for ensuring compliance. It is expected that this court shall be duly apprised about the compliance of the order.”

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