The central investigation agency is examining the role of two of its senior officers, including a joint director, in the purported goof-up related to a lookout circular (LOC) issued last year against beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) purportedly changed the nature of its application, which initially mandated Mallya be prevented from travelling outside the country to merely seeking information on his travel plans for questioning.
According to the CBI manual, request for an LOC should be sent “only after obtaining approval of the joint director concerned”, said the source.
A CBI spokesperson on Friday clarified that due to an “inadvertent error” it had applied for a lookout circular on October 12, 2015, mandating Mallya’s prevention from foreign travel.
But on realising its “mistake”, on November 23, the CBI applied for changing the lookout circular to only include information without any prevention or detention, the spokesperson said.
The CBI claims to have realised its “mistake” when the Bureau of Immigration contacted it asking what it was supposed to do once Mallya arrives from London on November 24.
With the agency facing heat over allowing Mallya to go abroad on March 2, the CBI has clarified that one of its Mumbai unit officers had “inadvertently ticked on the wrong box in the LOC form” that was to be submitted to Union home ministry’s Bureau of Immigration last year.
“A court-issued non-bailable warrant is required before applying for an LOC requiring detention,” said the CBI spokesperson.
Last July, CBI’s Mumbai unit had registered an FIR against Mallya and others in a case related to his airline’s alleged default on a Rs 900-crore loan by the IDBI Bank.
In a separate money-laundering probe against the businessman, ED seeks to question Mallya in a week’s time.
It will also scan Kingfishter Airlines Limited’s alleged loan defaults involving 16 other public sector banks as well.