The Delhi High Court Friday directed the CBI to recall the look out circular (LOC) issued against businessman Sathish Babu Sana in connection with a corruption case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi and the probe agency's ex-director A P Singh. “The respondent is directed to recall the LOC,” said Justice Mukta Gupta who had reserved verdict on the businessman's petition challenging the LOC earlier this month.
Sana had challenged the LOC on the ground that there was no complaint that he was not cooperating in the investigation, and he was not an accused in the case. The court was informed by Sana's counsel that LOC issued against Qureshi and businessman Pradeep Koneru, who are allegedly involved in the case, have already been quashed by a trial court and the high court respectively.
In his petition, Sana had said that the FIR was lodged on February 17, 2017 and since then he travelled abroad 15-16 times and returned to India each time. He alleged that the LOC issued against him was thus "unfounded, illegal, mala fide, arbitrary and violates his fundamental rights under the Constitution". He also contended that according to a Ministry of Home Affairs office memorandum of 2010 and a high court judgement of the same year, an LOC can be issued only when a cognisable offence under the IPC or other penal laws has been alleged against an accused or if the accused was "deliberately evading arrest".
The CBI counsel had contended that Sana's role had come up in the case and the purpose of issuing LOC against him was that he should not leave the country. The agency had claimed that Sana was required for further investigation and urged the court to direct him to give details of his assets and properties as he wanted to go abroad where he has business.
The FIR, for which Sana was being questioned, was lodged in 2017 by the CBI after the ED and Income Tax department's probe into money laundering and black money allegations against Qureshi allegedly revealed involvement of senior public servants. The ED had written a letter to the CBI in this regard and it had in 2017 lodged an FIR against meat exporter Moin Qureshi as well as its former director A P Singh and several others.
With PTI Inputs