Delhi High Court refuses to set aside trial court order quashing Look Out Circular against Huawei India CEO
The Delhi High Court has allowed Huawei India CEO Xiongwei Li to travel abroad on providing a Fixed Deposit Receipt (FDR) of ₹5 crore. The Court refused to set aside the order of a trial court quashing the Look Out Circular (LOC) against the CEO.
Single-Judge Justice Anu Malhotra said that the FDR will be forfeited if Li fails to join the investigation or to appear before the trial court as and when required.
"The directions qua the imposition of the conditions of deposit of an FDR of an amount of Rs.5 Crores drawn on a nationalized Indian Bank and forfeiture thereof on non-joining of the investigation and non-appearance as and when directed by the Trial Court have been imposed to take into account the eventuality of the alleged commission of an offence punishable under Section 276C(1)(i) of the of the Income Tax Act, 1969 read with Section 278B(1) of the Income Tax Act, 1969, if any, committed by the respondent," the Court said.
The Court was dealing with an appeal filed by the Income Tax department challenging the trial court's order.
It was alleged by the tax authorities that the top Huawei executives including its CEO are withholding important information on tax evasion in some of the important cases.
Consequently, the High Court noted that though there is no extradition treaty between India and China and Li is a flight risk but the fact that he is alleged to have committed only a non-cognizable and bailable offence cannot be overlooked.
"…the allegations against the petitioner do not relate to any aspect of the departure of the respondent being detrimental to the sovereignty or security or integrity of India nor to the bilateral relations with any country nor to the strategic interest of the country nor is it brought forth in any manner by the petitioner that the respondent was potentially likely to indulge in any act of terrorism or offences against the State or that his departure ought not be permitted in the larger interest at any given point in time," the High Court said.