Huawei Telecommunications (India) moves High Court over look out notice.

Li Xiongwei, the CEO of Huawei Telecommunications (India), has called into question, a look out circular (LOC) that prohibited him from flying out of India.

Ayushi Singh
New Update
Huawei India mover High court

Li Xiongwei, the CEO of Huawei Telecommunications (India), has called into question, a look out circular (LOC) that prohibited him from flying out of India for a business meeting earlier this month. The income-tax (I-T) department was asked why the LOC should not be annulled on Tuesday by the Delhi High Court, which is hearing the case. The circular was issued at the request of the Department of Information Technology.


On May 1, Li, a Chinese national was detained at the New Delhi airport and denied boarding to an airplane to Bangkok. He was supposed to fly to Bangkok to attend a meeting on behalf of Huawei India. The I-T department has been provided a month to respond to LI’s plea.

Despite repeated inquiries, he claims the authorities have refused to disclose a rationale for the LOC. According to the petition, his boarding permit was cancelled and not returned to him. As mentioned in the petition, this was a “major blow” to his character “as well as Huawei India’s reputation.”

Synopsis of the situation:

  • On May 1, Li Xiongwei was prevented from boarding from boarding a flight to Bangkok at Delhi Airport.
  • It’s a “major hit” to Li’s reputation “as well as to Huawei India’s,” he says.
  • Despite repeated requests, the authorities have failed to provide a reason for the LOC, he claims. Li also wants the I-T panchnama quashed, claiming that witnesses during the February I-T raids were “not inhabitants of the locality,“as required by I-T law.
  • Li stated that he had no plans to leave India permanently. Vijay Aggarwal, his lawyer, said that the LOC violated the principle of natural justice.

In case of a non-cognizable offence, there is no LOC

He contended that under this principle, everyone should have an opportunity to be heard. Aggarwal brought up the issue of people who are unable to travel due to LOCs. He claims they are separated from their family at the airport and are not entitled to a refund on their tickets. Those issued Locs are not informed in advance, resulting in a public spectacle when the Bureau of Immigration that falls under the Ministry of Home Affairs prevents them from leaving the airport. Li asked the Delhi HC to order the authorities to tell him why the LOC was issued. His petition highlighted a show-cause notice issued by the I-T department to Huawei on February 18, claiming that the offence mentioned in the notification was non-cognizable. And according to his counsel, an LOC cannot be issued for a non-cognisable offence. Li further stated that no show-cause notice has been issued in his namefor any I-T department prosecution proceedings.


Interim Relief

The Delhi High Court granted Li, interim respite, saying he can seek the investigating officer if he needs to fly abroad in case of emergency.

“Needless to say,” The Delhi HC observed, “if such an application is filed, it shall be evaluated on its own merits by the I-T department in accordance with law, without being influenced by any observation made in this order.”


As a respondent to Li’s petition at his request, the HC also impleaded the Central government through the Bureau of Immigration. In February, he also challenged raids by the I-T departmentat Huawei and his own locations.

Li asked for the panchnama prepared by the I-T authorities on February 16 to be quashed, claiming that the raids were not carried out in accordance with the rules. A panchnama is a document that details the evidence and conclusions reached by authorities during searches.

According to Aggarwal, witnesses to “search proceedings” must be from the area surrounding the search site. The witnesses he claimed “were not residents of the area.”

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