Bombay High Court Temporarily Suspends LOC Against Showik Chakraborty; Permits Travel To Australia

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Showik Chakraborty had approached the high court seeking a stay on the Look Out Circular from 17th September to 24th September 2023 for him to travel to Australia for some work

The Bombay High Court has ordered a temporary suspension of the Look Out Circular against Showik Chakraborty, the brother of Rhea Chakraborty. Both were implicated by the Narcotics Control Bureau in an alleged drug case following the death of the late Bollywood Actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

This order was passed by a division bench of the Bombay High Court, which consisted of Justice AS Gadkari and Justice Sharmila Deshmukh.

Showik Chakraborty had approached the high court, seeking a stay on the Look Out Circular from September 17th to September 24th, 2023, to facilitate his travel to Australia for work purposes.

Advocate Ayaz Khan, representing Chakraborty, informed the court that the Special NIA Court had directed the NCB to return Chakraborty's passport and allowed him to travel during the specified dates, as per an order dated September 6th.

On the other hand, Advocate Kuldeep Patil, representing the Central Bureau of Investigation, pointed out that an investigation related to the FIR is being conducted by the CBI. He further noted that the FIR had been registered at Rajeev Nagar Police Station, Patna, on July 25th, 2020. Therefore, he argued that the application seeking the suspension of the Look Out Circular should have been filed in Patna.

The court, however, was of the opinion that there was no evidence presented to suggest that Chakraborty posed a flight risk, especially considering his strong ties in India.

"It is not stated before this Court that, the Applicant is a flight-risk. It is also not disputed that the Applicant has strong ties in India as his parents and sister are residing in India," the court said.

The high court directed Chakraborty to furnish the full itinerary of his overseas travel with all details, including the addresses where he would stay, and telephone/mobile/contact numbers, on which he can be contacted during the said period by CBI. 

The high court also asked Showik's parents to submit their passports to the registrar of the high court.

Case title: Showik Indrajit Chakraborty vs Additional Superintendent of Police & Anr.