New Delhi: Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court has ordered the Central Bureau of Intelligence (CBI) to withdraw the lookout notice issued against ex-Amnesty India chief Aakar Patel. CBI’s Director has been 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.
Earlier in the day, after hearing both sides of the case, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pawan Kumar had reserved the order.
Patel had moved the court after he was stopped from boarding a flight to the United States yesterday. He sought permission from the court to travel to the US till May 30, 2022.
The writer-activist took to Twitter to share the news, where he also called the accusations of money laundering against Amnesty “absurd”.
“CBI officer called to say I am on the look-out circular because of the case Modi government has filed against Amnesty International India,” Patel said in a tweet shortly after he was stopped from leaving India.
A plea challenging the lookout notice issued against him in connection with a case of an alleged violation of the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act was filed by him.
According to NDTV’s CBI sources, Patel was granted permission to travel to the US by a Surat court in a case registered by the Gujarat police, but the Look Out Notice was opened against him in connection with another case registered by the agency against Amnesty International India and others for alleged Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA) violations about ₹ 36 crores in foreign funding.
A case against Amnesty International India and three of its associate organizations was filed by CBI in November 2019, following a complaint lodged by the Home Ministry for alleged violation of the provision of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 and the Indian Penal Code.
As per the Complaint of the Home Ministry, a payment of ₹ 10 crores, classified as Foreign Direct Investment, was remitted to Amnesty India from its London office. Another ₹ 26 crores have been remitted to Amnesty India, “primarily from UK-based entities”.
In 2018, the Enforcement Directorate had raided Amnesty’s Bangalore offices, in connection with a foreign exchange contravention case.
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