Court Sets Aside 'Look Out Circular' for Greenpeace Activist Priya Pillai

Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai shows her passport on which airport officials stamped ‘Offload’.

NEW DELHI:  Exactly two months after Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai was stopped from boarding a flight to London to speak to British MPs, the Delhi High Court has asked the government to quash the lookout circular against her.

The court has also directed the government to expunge the passport entry where it has been stamped as “offload”.

“You cannot muzzle dissent in a democracy… Citizens can have different opinion of development policies,” the High Court said today.

Ms Pillai, who was offloaded from the aircraft by immigration officials on January 11, was scheduled to visit London to make a presentation before British MPs regarding alleged human rights violation at Mahan in Madhya Pradesh where a proposed coal mining project was threatening to uproot the lives of the local communities.

Ms Pillai said her offloading was “illegal and arbitrary” and she had a valid business visa for six months to visit London where she was scheduled to address British parliamentarians on January 14.

Her name will now also be removed from any government database that prevents her from travelling abroad.