What Is Look Out Notice?

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In the realm of law enforcement and legal proceedings, certain mechanisms are in place to maintain public safety and aid in investigations. One such mechanism is the Look Out Notice (LOC). Look Out Notice is a preventive measure issued by law enforcement authorities to track individuals involved in criminal activities or who are wanted for questioning in ongoing investigations. In this blog, we will explore the concept of Look Out Notice, its purpose, and its significance in maintaining security and facilitating legal procedures.

What Is Look Out Notice?

A Look Out Notice (LOC) is an official communication issued by law enforcement agencies or immigration authorities to airports, seaports, and other border checkpoints to watch for individuals who are suspected of being involved in criminal activities or are required for questioning in connection with ongoing investigations. The notice alerts authorities to the presence of such individuals and provides instructions for their apprehension or monitoring.

Purpose Of Look Out Notice

  1. Preventing Escapes: Look Out Notices are crucial in preventing individuals involved in criminal activities from fleeing the country. By alerting border control authorities, law enforcement agencies ensure that suspects do not leave the jurisdiction before legal proceedings can take place.
  2. Facilitating Investigations: Look Out Notices help in tracking and locating individuals who are wanted for questioning or are required as witnesses in ongoing investigations. It ensures that law enforcement agencies can gather relevant information and evidence by locating and bringing these individuals into custody or facilitating their cooperation.
  3. Ensuring Security: Look Out Notices contribute to overall public safety and security by identifying and apprehending individuals involved in serious crimes or who pose a threat to society. By alerting authorities at ports of entry, the notices help prevent potential risks associated with the movement of these individuals.
  4. Cooperation Among Law Enforcement Agencies: Look Out Notices enhance collaboration and information sharing between different law enforcement agencies at national and international levels. The notices enable agencies to exchange critical information and coordinate efforts to apprehend wanted individuals or monitor their movements.

Issuing And Implementation Of Look Out Notice

Look Out Notices are typically issued by authorized law enforcement agencies, such as police departments, investigative agencies, or immigration authorities. The process involves the following steps:

  1. Investigation and Assessment: Law enforcement agencies investigate cases and assess the need for a Look Out Notice based on the severity of the crime, involvement of the individual, and the likelihood of their attempt to flee or evade the legal process.
  2. Documentation and Communication: Once the decision is made to issue a Look Out Notice, relevant information about the individual, including their personal details, photographs, and the nature of their involvement in the case, is documented. This information is then communicated to relevant authorities, including border control agencies, through official channels.
  3. Implementation: Border control authorities receive the Look Out Notice and are responsible for monitoring individuals at ports of entry and exit. They are trained to identify and detain individuals who match the description or details provided in the notice. Law enforcement agencies cooperate with border control authorities to facilitate the implementation of Look Out Notices.


Look Out Notices play a critical role in ensuring the safety of the public and expediting legal proceedings. By alerting border control authorities to the presence of individuals involved in criminal activities or required for questioning, Look Out Notices prevent escapes, facilitate investigations, and contribute to overall security. This mechanism serves as an essential tool for law enforcement agencies, promoting cooperation and coordination among various entities involved in maintaining law and order.

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How Can I Check My Look Out Notice?

How to check if there is a Look Out Notice/Circular

  • Local Police Stations where an FIR is registered.
  • Immigration Authorities/FRRO.
  • Trail Court records if the LOC is issued by trail court.
  • Investigation agency like CBI/ED if they have registered a case.

What Is The Time Period Of Look Out Notice?

Generally Lookout Notice is valid for one year from the date of issue. However, if the originating agency wants to increase the period of this notice, it may do so before the completion of one year.

What Is The Validity Of Look Out Circular?

Initially, the LOC was to have shelf life of one year period only, unless the same was specifically renewed. However, this position has changed after office memorandum of 2021 which provides that once an LOC is opened, it remains in force, till request for deletion is made by originator.

Can Banks Issue Look Out Notice?

Though the banks have the power to open look-out-notice/circular against wilful defaulter in repayment of loans, the applicant against whom the notice/circular has been issued still have the right to approach the Hon’ble High Court within their jurisdiction to get it quashed or in alternative seek permission to travel.

What Is LOC Issued?

A Letter of Credit (LOC) is correspondence issued by a bank guaranteeing payment for goods and services purchased by the one requesting the letter. An Irrevocable Letter of Credit, or ILOC, cannot be canceled or modified in any way without explicit consent by the affected parties involved.

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