Staff Reporter

"Lookout notice was to ensure that he did not leave country"

NEW DELHI: The Delhi police on Saturday clarified that Shayan Munshi, a key witness in the Jessica Lal murder case, need not have been arrested at Kolkata Airport this morning as the lookout notice issued against him was only to ensure that he did not leave the country. The same was conveyed to their counterparts in Kolkata.

According to a Delhi police spokesperson, the information about Shayan being detained at Kolkata Airport, when he was on his way to board a flight to Bangkok, was received around noon. Senior officers here got in touch with their counterparts in Kolkata and conveyed to them that Shayan should be directed to Delhi for joining investigations. Subsequently, they came to know that Shayan was being taken to a court.

The Delhi police again got in touch with the Kolkata police and clarified that Shayan was required only for investigation purpose and there was no need to produce him in a court. However, Kolkata police then apparently got confused about whether Shayan should be formally booked under a criminal section for allegedly trying to flee the country despite a lookout notice or simply transferred to Delhi. Finally, in the evening, Shayan was produced in the court there and released on bail.

Meanwhile, sources here added that the Special Investigating Team (SIT) probing into the botching up of Jessica Lal murder investigations, in which all nine accused were acquitted, in all probability would be questioning Shayan on why he tried to leave the country. If the police find enough evidence to suspect that he actually wanted to escape the police dragnet, then his passport might be impounded after due legal procedure, sources said.

The SIT had issued lookout notices against several key witnesses of Jessica Lal murder, including Bina Ramani and Malini Ramani. Shayan was the key witness who had turned hostile.