Indian Polity & Constitution
In News: GOI wants to keep look-out circular details under wraps
What is Look out Circular?
- It is a notice to stop any individual wanted by the police, investigating agency or even a bank from leaving or entering the country through designated land, air and sea ports.
- The Bureau of immigration is tasked to stop any such individual against whom such a notice exists from leaving or entering the country.
- There are 86 immigration check posts across the country
- LOCs can be modified; deleted or withdrawn only at the request of the originator.
- As per norms, an LOC will stay valid for a maximum period of 12 months and if there is no fresh request from the agency, then it will not be automatically revived.
Who issues LOC?
- According to the existing guidelines, LOCs are initiated by a large number of agencies which includes the CBI, Enforcement Directorate, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Income Tax, State police and intelligence agencies among others, by an officer not below the rank of a district magistrate or superintendent of police.
- In 2018, after liquor baron Vijay Mallya fled to the U.K., the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) brought changes to the guidelines authorising chairman, managing director and chief executives of all public sector banks to generate LOCs.
- The organisations have to provide details such as the First Information Report (FIR) number. Court case number is to be mandatorily provided other than name, passport number and other details.
- 2010 office memorandum gives the authorities power to generate LOCs in “exceptional cases” without complete parameters or case details against “suspects, terrorists, anti-national elements, etc, in larger national interest.”
- A string of court orders recently have put the spotlight on this opaqueness and the mechanical way in which LOCs are generated
- On April 5, the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered the MHA and LOC issuing agency to serve a copy of the LOC and state the reasons to the person against whom it was issued “as soon as possible” and provide a “post-decisional opportunity.”
- It asked the MHA to include these directions into the “Official Memorandum” or the guidelines that govern the opening of LOCs
- Asserting that “LOCs cannot be shown to the subject” at the time of detention nor any prior intimation can be provided, the MHA moved the Supreme Court against the said order and SC has stayed the particular paragraph of the judgement.
Previous Year Questions (PYQs)
Q.1) With reference to India, consider the following statements: (2021)
- Judicial custody means an accused is in the custody of the concerned magistrate and such accused is locked up in a police station, not in Jail.
- During judicial custody, the police officer in charge of the case is not allowed to interrogate the suspect without the approval of the court.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
- 1 Only
- 2 Only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Source: The Hindu
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