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.