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The recourse to LOC can be taken only when the accused was deliberately evading arrest or not appearing in the trial court in spite of coercive measures being taken against him- Karnataka High Court.

The recourse to LOC can be taken only when the accused was deliberately evading arrest or not appearing in the trial court in spite of coercive measures being taken against him- Karnataka High Court.

The issuance of LOC against an individual has got very serious consequences, which would curtail the free movements of a person and therefore, such a right which is guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India cannot be curtailed other than in accordance with law. Therefore, when a LOC is being issued, there has to be a proper application of mind by the competent authority and it cannot be issued on a mere request of the Investigating Officer, unless he makes out a case for a need to issue LOC. This certain issue was held in the land mark judgement given by the single bench of MR. JUSTICE S VISHWAJITH SHETTY in CENTRAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, BANKING SECURITIES FRAUD BRANCH VS ASIF KHADER,(Crl.P.1479/2021).

The brief facts of the case are that the Central Bureau of Investigation has filed this petition under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, challenging the order dated 19th January 2021 in R.C.No.8(E)/2017 passed by the court of XXI Additional City Civil and Sessions Judge and Principal Special Judge for CBI Cases, Bengaluru. The Company and its Directors, who are the accused, had defrauded the Bank, a complaint was lodged, based on which FIR was registered by the petitioner for the offences punishable under Sections 120-B read with Section 420 of IPC, Section 13(2) read with Section 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

Learned Special Public Prosecutor for the petitioner submits that the trial court has proceeded to pass the impugned order on the ground that the LOC was issued without assigning proper reason and the LOC was not placed on record, He has relied upon the judgments passed by the Division Bench of this court in (DR.BAVAGUTHU RAGHURAM SHETTY -VS- BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION) and has also filed a memo before this court wherein it is stated that the respondent had appeared before the petitioner on 22.02.2018 and 02.03.2018 and on both the said occasions, his statement was recorded.

The learned senior counsel appearing for the respondent would submitted that the trial court has passed a detailed reasoned order which does not suffer from any illegalities or infirmities. He submits that the respondent has throughout cooperated with the Investigating Officer and he has appeared before the Investigating Officer on multiple occasions and his statement has already been recorded.

After hearing to the arguments of both the parties the Hon’ble High court held that “Under the circumstances, this Criminal Petition is disposed of, with the following observations: 1) The respondent shall forthwith surrender his Passport before the Passport Authority; 2) The respondent shall make an application before this court in the event of the intending to travel abroad for personal or business reasons by furnishing the travel itinerary and specifying the period of travel In the event of the petitioner filing a charge sheet in the meanwhile, such an application seeking permission to travel shall be filed by the respondent before the trial court.”

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Judgement reviewed by Pratikshya Pattnaik

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