Extradition Laws in India

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What is extradition?

Extradition is simply the surrender of a criminal to one country by another.

It also helps in maintaining the territoriality of the penal code, which says that a country should not apply its criminal law to a person who committed an offense outside its territories except when the crime is related to a particular country’s national interest.

The process is regulated by treaties between the two countries.

Extradition is governed by the Indian Extradition Act, 1962 India has extradition treaties with 44 countries. So, this means these countries generally accept that the offender will be treated as a criminal in both countries.

The Act specifies a list of extradition offenses –an offense provided for in the extradition treaty with that state. The process has to be initiated by the central government.

India also has extradition arrangements with 9 countries, which means India and these countries agree to assist mutually with each other in “legal procedures”.

The Act specifies a list of extradition offenses –an offense provided for in the extradition treaty with that state. The process has to be initiated by the central government.

INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE

International pressures and multilateral diplomacy play a huge rule when it comes to Extradition Treaties. Extradition arrangements work on the basis of trust and any failure to abide by the international assurances would doubtlessly scar India’s reputation as a country serious about ensuring that justice is served expeditiously.

What are the internationally accepted extradition conditions?

  • There is a general consensus about a few conditions of extradition. The crime should fulfill the criterion of dual criminality it’s a punishable offense in both countries.
  • For instance, homosexuality might be a crime in a country while it is accepted in another.
  • Political criminals are generally not extradited. Some countries refuse to extradite if the kind of expected punishment is abolished or is not administered in their own territories.

In what situations can the government deny extradition?

  • If the government finds the case trivial and if it thinks that surrendering of the person is not being made in good faith or in the interests of justice or for political reasons, it can deny the request.
  • If the surrender according to the requesting country’s own law is barred by time, the person cannot be extradited from India.
  • If the government feels that the person will be charged with an offense not mentioned in the extradition treaty, it can stop the process.
  • If the person is serving a jail term or is accused of an offense on Indian soil, which is different from the offense for which he or she is wanted abroad, the extradition process can be stopped.

A CASE IN POINT:-

  1. Hong Kong– Protests broke out in Hong Kong when local authorities proposed a Bill that would have allowed them to extradite suspects to places with which the city doesn’t have extradition treaties, including mainland China. The Bill was suspended amid public anger but the protests continued.
  2. The extradition to India of British businessman Christian Michel, alleged to be the middleman in the AgustaWestland helicopters case who bribed officials to secure the deal, is a diplomatic success for India.
  3. Julian Assange, Wikileaks co-founder was arrested on a provisional US extradition warrant, from his Ecuador Embassy hideout in London as Ecuador withdrew the asylum granted to him. A London court has issued an arrest warrant against jewelry designer Nirav Modi, the main accused in the USD 2 billion PNB scam case, in response to an Enforcement Directorate request for his extradition in a money laundering case.
  4. India has enacted the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2019 to deal with economic fugitives and request their extradition.



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