Delhi HC allows environmental lawyer Ritwick Dutta, facing FCRA case, to travel abroad
New Delhi, Nov 17 : The Delhi High Court has granted environmental lawyer Ritwick Dutta, facing a Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) case filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), permission to travel to Switzerland and Germany.
Justice Subramonium Prasad's order came in response to Dutta's petition challenging the Look-Out Circular (LOC) issued by the CBI. He considered Dutta's 21-year legal practice in Delhi, his roots in society, and his receipt of the Right to Livelihood Award, 2021, while allowing the travel.
Dutta, founder of Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment (LIFE), is accused of receiving foreign contributions from Earthjustice, a US-based nonprofit, to impede coal projects in India.
The lawyer is scheduled to visit Geneva, Switzerland, from November 23 to November 25 and requested permission to travel to Germany from December 3 to December 8.
Dutta, a Fellow at the University of Bonn in Germany, cited the need to attend the Right to Livelihood Workshop and participate in a one-day seminar conducted by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Environment.
The court noted Dutta's invitations as a guest speaker in various international universities.
It allowed Dutta to travel, subject to conditions, including furnishing a security deposit of Rs 5 lakh.
The permission granted does not constitute a directive to any other authority, the judge said.