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Extradition

It its simplest form, extradition is a process which involves one governmental authority formally turning over an alleged criminal to another governmental authority for prosecution for a criminal charge.

How is it different from deportation?

  • Unlike deportation, extradition is a judicial process.
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  • For example, in India a request to extradite an accused can be initiated only after a chargesheet has been filed before the court and the court has sought the presence of the accused to face trial in the case.
  • All extradition requests must be supported by documents and information as per the provisions of the extradition treaty.

What are Extradition treaties & arrangements?

  • The consensus in international law is that a state does not have any obligation to surrender an alleged criminal to a foreign state, because one principle of sovereignty is that every state has legal authority over the people within its borders.
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  • Thus to ensure extradition, extradition treaties exists between nations.
  • If there doesn’t exists any extradition treaty between two nations, then also one country may request the return of the alleged criminal back to the home state.

Procedure for Extradition in India

  • Information regarding the fugitive criminals wanted in foreign countries is received directly from the concerned country or through the General Secretariat of the International Criminal Police Organisation (ICPO)-Interpol in the form of red notices. The Interpol Wing of the Central Bureau of Investigation immediately passes it on to the concerned police organizations. The red notices received from the General Secretariat are circulated to all the State Police authorities and immigration authorities.
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  • Action can be taken under the Indian Extradition Act Article No. 34 (b) of 1962. This act provides procedure for the arrest and extradition of fugitive criminals under certain conditions which includes receipt of the request through diplomatic channels ONLY and under the warrant issued by a Magistrate having a competent jurisdiction.
  • Action can also be taken under the provisions of Section 41 (1) (g) of the Cr.P.C., 1973 which authorizes the police to arrest a fugitive criminal without a warrant, however, they must immediately refer the matter to Interpol Wing for onward transmission to the Government of India for taking a decision on extradition or otherwise.
  • In case the fugitive criminal is an Indian national, action can also be taken under Section 188 Cr.P.C., 1973 as if the offence has been committed at any place in India at which he may be found. The trial of such a fugitive criminal can only take place with the previous sanction of the Central Government.

What are some of the common bars on extradition?

Failure to fulfill dual criminality

If the act for which extradition is sought is not a crime in the requested state then the requested state can refuse to extradite the person.

Political nature of the alleged crime

Most countries refuse to extradite suspects of political crimes.

Possibility of certain forms of punishment

If the person may receive capital punishment or face torture in the requesting state, then the requested state can refuse extradition.

Jurisdiction

Jurisdiction over a crime can be invoked to refuse extradition. 

How does the extradition process works in India?

  • In India, the extradition of a fugitive from India to a foreign country or vice-versa is governed by the provisions of Indian Extradition Act, 1962.
  • The basis of extradition could be a treaty or an arrangement between India and a foreign country.
  • India currently (as of March 31 2016) has extradition treaties with 39 countries. The UK is among them.

 

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