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HC issues notice to Centre, IB on Greenpeace activist’s plea

Delhi high court

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today sought response of the Centre on the plea of Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai against her “offloading” from a flight to London at the Delhi airport.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher also issued notice to IB and Immigration Department seeking their responses on Pillai’s plea terming the “offloading” act as illegal and a violation of her basic rights to personal liberty and freedom of speech.

The court notices were issued on the activist’s plea seeking direction to the concerned authorities to expunge the endorsements made while offloading her from the flight by immigration officials on January 11, while she was on the way to London to make a presentation before British MPs, regarding alleged human rights violation at Mahan in Madhya Pradesh.

The court, meanwhile, has also directed the counsel appearing for the respondents to take instructions on Pillai’s interim application seeking permission to travel to United Kingdom on February 11, for the same cause.

“Issue notice to the respondents (Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), IB and Immigration Department). Reply be filed in one week. Rejoinder by the petitioner (Priya Pillai) before February 6,” the court said, adding that at least the counsel for government should get instruction on the petitioner’s trip, scheduled for February 11.

Senior advocate Indira Jaising appearing for the activist also requested the court to quash the lookout circular issued against her by MHA.

Jaising contended that debarring the activist from going abroad is a deliberate attempt to malign her reputation and an illegal act by the government agencies on the basis of a flawed circular issued by MHA.

She submitted that the circular had no legal basis as Pillai has neither been convicted in any case, nor has she ever evaded arrest or trial.

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