Putting to rest all confusion pertaining to the offloading of Greenpeace activist, Priya Pillai, the Home Ministry has said that a look out circular against her was issued by the Intelligence Bureau on January 9 2015.
The look out circular was issued on January 9 by an Assistant Director of the Intelligence Bureau and the action was a valid one.
Why was the look out circular issued
When inputs are issued and are received against a person and there is a question of national security the Intelligence Bureau can issue a look out circular against persons. Her ticket was purchased by Greenpeace which has been blacklisted by the Intelligence Bureau.
When a blacklisted organization threatening to disrupt the economic security of the country it is within the purview of the Intelligence Bureau to issue an LOC citing violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act.
In its report last year, the Intelligence Bureau had made it clear that the Greenpeace was undertaking activities in India to stall important projects. It had stated that protests had been stage managed by Greenpeace activists in India to stall projects and the funding had come from abroad.
The Mahan Coal Mines issue
In its report the IB had also made a mention about the Mahan Coal Mines issue. It was stated that protests were being stage managed by Greenpeace with foreign funding to block the project.
Priya Pillai was on her way to London to address and intereact with British MP's on the subject pertaining to the violations of human rights and environmental norms by Essar in Mahan coal mine areas.
Rules had changed
There was much debate over whether the IB is authorized to issue a Look Out Circular. It had been claimed that such a circular has to be issued only with the consent of the Home Ministry.
However there was a change in the rules in 2010 in which the IB was authorized to issue such a circular. In 2010 guidelines were issued stating that an officer in the rank of an Additional Director in the IB is authorized to issue an LOC. These guidelines were issued to avoid unnecessary delays.
Sometimes we get inputs regarding some persons and by the time we get an approval from the ministry it would be delayed. This would ensure that a person can get away from the country, a senior official in the Intelligence Bureau informed.
The LOC issued by the IB is always preventive in nature. The IB does not have the power to arrest a person. It can issue such an LOC to the airport authorities who can offload a person. Following this it is for the authorities with the power to arrest to take action while the IB would keep a watch the officer further informed.