A Delhi Court on Wednesday sought a response from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on a plea moved by journalist and human rights activist Aakar Patel who was stopped at Bengaluru Airport.

Patel moved court seeking removal and withdrawal of the Look-Out Circular (LOC) issued against him.

The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM), Pawan Kumar of Rouse Avenue Court on Wednesday after noting down the submission made by Advocate Tanveer Ahmad Mir appeared for Aakar Patel sought a response from CBI and listed the matter for Thursday.

The petition stated that the applicant is in urgent need to travel as he has to deliver lectures on April 8 in the United States and therefore, it would be appropriate and in the interest of justice that whilst the present application is decided, this Court in the interim directs the respondents to suspend the LOC so that the applicant can travel to the US for the pre-arranged programme.

Aakar Patel on Wednesday stopped at the Bengaluru airport and was prevented from boarding a flight to the US.

Patel said that he was prevented from travelling to the US despite a Gujarat court order granting him permission “specifically” for the said trip.
The former chief of Amnesty International India took to Twitter account, which is not verified, to tweet: “Stopped from leaving India at Bangalore airport. Am on the exit control list. Got passport back through court order specifically for this trip to the US.”

Patel also shared a copy of his application for the passport to the court and tagged Prime Minister’s Office. The Gujarat court’s ruling shared by Patel showed that the judge had ordered his passport to be returned and allowed him to travel to the US between March 1 and May 30.

“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 tweeted.

Notably, in September 2020, Patel was booked under Sections 153 A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence), 295 A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings), spreading a fake message with the intent to incite, any class or community of persons to commit any offence against any other class or community under 505 (1) B, 505 (1) C, Defamation under Sections 499, and 500 of the Indian Penal Code for three of his tweets against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and Ghanchi caste.

In June 2020, an FIR was registered against Patel at the JC Nagar police station over his controversial comments on social media under charges pertaining to provocation with intent to cause riots. (ANI)