Lookout Circular during 498A

Whenever NRIs are entangled in the infamous Indian Matrimonial criminal juggernaut (IPC 498A), the worst fear that creeps in is issuance of Lookout Circular against the accused NRI and his family.

The modus operandi is most cases remains the same :-

1) Wife goes back to India and files a complaint of “Dowry harassment”, which gets converted to a FIR u/s 498A, 406, DP3/4, etc. Basically depends upon how highly imaginative the opp party lawyer happens to be.

2) Next, the police even without doing any cursory investigation, designates the NRI as an absconder and files for LOC (Lookout Circular) against the NRI (in my case the LOC was issued in 48 days from filing the complaint), without even giving him any notification about the pending case.

3) Now the wife and in-laws start the drama of calling the guy and asking him to come down to India for discussion.

4) NRI lands in India….and VOILA….his name pops up on Indian Airport Immigration Screen….

5) NRI is straightaway arrested and handed over to the Airport police. Then he is transferred to the local police custody who start licking their tongue once they know a hard-working, tax paying NRI has landed in their lap…..

6) What happens next…I hope you can imagine well….provided you are aware of the highly corrupt police system which will make every attempt to milk as much as possible from the NRI.


Myths about LOC :-

1) LOC is applicable only for a year and post one year it needs to be renewed. FALSE > LOC once issued remains in the system of the MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) forever till it is requested to be removed.

2) LOC can be evaded if I travel via Nepal. FALSE > LOC information is also shared with Nepal Immigration authority and Indian Border Security Force. Dont ever try that route.


How to remove LOC :-

1) Immediately once you are aware of LOC, start writing complaints to National Human Rights Commission and your State Human Rights Commission > http://nhrc.nic.in/

2) Start writing and meet in person your local DCP and FRRO. > http://boi.gov.in/content/frro-contact-list

3) Request the IO (Investigative Officer) of the case to remove the LOC post the Charge-sheet has been filed, since your presence is no more required by police for any further investigation.

NOTE : IO plays a very important role, since any removal of LOC request has to be initiated ONLY by him which moves to DCP’s desk > FRRO’s desk > MHA > MEA

4) Post your chargesheet filing by IO, you may as well approach the court for removal of the LOC and hope the court obliges.


Feel free to send your queries to me in case of any clarification about LOOKOUT CIRCULARS, which regretfully are used against NRIs till date as a means of extortion in matrimonial disputes.


9 thoughts on “Lookout Circular during 498A

    • Yes they do have full discretion. Since LOC is issued by police and has nothing to do with court Proceedings. However, usually police plays safe and asks for court order for travel abroad Once accused is stuck in India.


  1. Are LOCs issued only for Matrimonial (Wife/Husband) fights? Can a LOC be issued for India’s Cyber Crime section 67A for a NRI (who wrote nasty vulgar comments on a relative’s picture and posted that picture onto relative’s facebook timeline with a fake facebook id) because for this crime India will not EXTRADITE the NRI … the only other way they can arrest is via LOC I guess… please advise in detail … is there an email address where I could contact you directly. Thanks


  2. I am in exactly same situation and stuck in India. I have the court order to travel outside, but DCP is reluctant to cancel the LOC. He says get the case close copy. I will have the case closed in 5-6 months as we did mutual.
    Not sure whom to approach, kindly advise.


  3. Dear sir
    Im iranian national.my sister in 2014 came with student visa and areested for handling gold in mumbaiairport.however they allow her to go for her education .after one year she went back iran for holiday .in coming back again for new academic yeae immigration stop her and send her back to iran stating your name is on LOC .we closed her case by paying penalty .now i want to know how is procedure to remover her name


  4. I am planning to visit India soon. I have 498a. I have stay order, Can I still be arrested ? I am coming to India for visa stamping.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s