Naresh Goyal, former Chairman of Jet Airways, was not allowed to fly out of the country on May 25. The Emirates flight he had taken was asked to return to the bay from the taxiway at Mumbai Airport. The Mumbai police said there was a Look-Out Circular (LOC) against him but immigration officials said there was none. There is no case registered against the Goyals yet.
What is a Look-Out Circular, and when can it be issued?
An LOC is a circular issued by authorities to ensure that a person wanted in a criminal case does not flee the country. Normally, an LOC can be issued when a person is absconding in a particular case registered against him, and there is fear he may leave the country. In certain cases, the police can also approach a court seeking restriction of a person’s movement outside the country, when that person is a suspect in a case and there is fear he may not joint the investigation at a later stage.
In November last year, the government also empowered the heads of Public Sector Banks to directly request the authorities to issue an LOC against wilful defaulters to prevent them from leaving the country. In the past, the likes of Nirav Modi allegedly involved in a Rs 14,000 crore fraud with Punjab National Bank, and Vijay Mallya have managed to flee the country before being made accused or declared as wilful defaulters.
Does an LOC lead to an arrest in all cases?
No. LOCs can be of different types. As per the proforma for the issue of LOC, it has various options from just informing the government that the person against whom the LOC has been issued is leaving the country, to seizing their travel documents and sending it to the agency, to preventing the person from entering the country, informing investigating agencies. The highest level of LOC involves handing over the person to the local police which generally leads to an arrest.
What is the difference between an LOC and Interpol notices like the Red Corner Notice?
While the LOC is mainly to ensure that anyone wanted by the investigating agencies does not leave or enter the country without their knowledge, a Red Corner Notice (RCN), issued by the Interpol, is to ensure that a person who has fled the country where he is wanted, can still be nabbed whenever he tries to enter or leave another country.
Whenever a person with an RCN against him approaches an airport in another country, the immigration officials there inform the country from where the request was made and detain the person.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines