Bombay HC pulls up Central agencies for issuing LOCs even after person arrested
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday rapped Central agencies for issuing Look Out Circulars LOCs even after a person was arrested and granted bail, and asked whether they are above Parliament.
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday rapped Central agencies for issuing Look Out Circulars (LOCs) even after a person was arrested and granted bail, and asked whether they are ''above Parliament''. A division bench of Justices A S Gadkari and M N Jadhav questioned both the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) about the law under which LOC was issued once the accused was granted bail by the Supreme Court.
''Once bail is granted, then an accused is under the custody of the court which granted bail. How can you (the agency) supersede judicial orders like that? Are you (Central agency) above Parliament? You are overreaching Parliament now”, the court said.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by Roshini Kapoor, daughter of Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor, challenging the LOC issued against her by the CBI.
Roshini Kapoor is an accused in two separate cases - one for alleged corruption which is probed by CBI and the other by the ED for money laundering in connection with the DHFL case.
She was arrested and subsequently granted bail by the apex court in October 2021.
In her petition, Roshini Kapoor said that continuing the LOC against a person who has already been arrested and granted bail supersedes the law.
Advocate Hiten Venegaonkar, appearing for the CBI, told the high court that LOCs are kept pending even after the accused is granted bail to ensure that he or she doesn't abscond.
The bench sought to know how a LOC could be issued against a person who has been arrested. “Lookout notices are only for the absconding accused. Once the accused is arrested then lookout notice must end,'' the bench said. As per the plea, Roshini Kapoor could not travel to London this year despite securing permission from the special court due to the pending LOC.
The HC noted that the purpose behind issuing LOC is to stop an accused from fleeing the country without due process of law.
''But here there are bail conditions. They (agencies) cannot be a superpower and go above the law,'' the bench said. It further said that one of the conditions imposed by the court while granting bail was that the accused shall not leave the country.
“The condition throughout is that the accused shall not leave the country without the permission of the court. Let them (accused) file before the Special Court. You (CBI) oppose that application seeking permission, why are you troubling us and wasting judicial time?'' Justice Gadkari asked.
The bench posted the matter for further hearing on September 20 and asked both the ED and CBI to submit their relevant manuals on the provisions while issuing LOCs.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)