A day after being barred from boarding a flight to the US, International India’s former head Aakar Patel on Thursday got relief from a Delhi court that directed the CBI to immediately revoke the lookout circular against him. The court also asked the CBI director to make a written apology, acknowledging the “lapse” in putting Patel on the exit control list “merely on the basis of apprehensions arising out of the whims and fancies of the investigating agency”.
By evening, journalist-activist Patel was back at the Bengaluru airport to catch a flight to Bangkok en route to Michigan, where he is scheduled to speak at a conference on Friday. “I don’t know if I will make it to the event on time. If not, I will attend it online. I am travelling to New York and Berkeley for other events,” he told TOI. Patel said the CBI should reimburse him for the financial loss he suffered for cancelling Wednesday’s flight ticket at the last moment. He was to board a British Airways flight to Boston.
Hearing Patel’s plea against the CBI’s lookout notice, additional chief metropolitan magistrate said the stricture was in violation of the guidelines laid down by the Delhi high court and relevant circulars issued by the Union home ministry.
“This act of the investigating agency has caused monetary loss of around Rs 3.8 lakh to the applicant,” he said. “Before taking recourse of the stringent provisions of issuance of , the consequences on the rights of the affected person should have been foreseen. The fundamental rights of any person cannot be curtailed without any procedure established by law.”
The court said an apology from the CBI director 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”.