A Delhi court has said that the right to travel abroad is a valuable fundamental right and can be curtailed only under exceptional circumstances.
Special Judge Anil Antil made the observation while allowing a businessman, accused in an alleged Rs 135 crore bank loan fraud, to travel to the US to attend the graduation ceremony of his son.
The judge allowed Raman Sethi to travel to the US from June 12 to June 30 even as he directed him not to tamper with the evidence or try to influence the witnesses in any manner.
“Taking note of the fact that the right to travel abroad is a valuable fundamental right and can be curtailed only under exceptional circumstances, and merely because a case is pending against him before a court of law does not dis-entitle him to enjoy his fundamental right to travel as per his desire the present applicant is allowed,” the judge said.
The judge also noted in an order passed on June 9 that the accused had travelled to UAE from May 6 to 12, 2023, and returned successfully.
In his application, Sethi had submitted that a Look Out Circular (LOC) was issued against him by the CBI, even though “he was in fact the whistleblower in the present case.”
The fraud case was filed on the complaint of Union Bank of India against a company, PCL Oil & Solvents Ltd, and its directors/guarantors for defaulting in the payment of loan.
The CBI had alleged that the accused company and persons had syphoned off Rs 135.5 crore during 2012-2020 and misappropriated funds by falsifying the company’s books.
The probe agency had opposed Sethi’s application to fly abroad, saying the investigation was at an initial stage.