How to bring back a fugitive

India has moved the UK for extradition of Vijay Mallya, and Interpol for a Red Corner Notice against Nirav Modi. Will these bring the fugitives back? What are the rules for extradition, and the precedents?

Written by Rahul Tripathi | New Delhi | Updated: June 13, 2018 12:40:00 am
(Illustration: CR Sasikumar)

The CBI has moved Interpol for Red Corner Notices (RCNs) against fugitives Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, while the government has requested the UK to extradite Vijay Mallya. With the UK having confirmed Nirav Modi too is on its soil, a look at the procedures involved in extradition, and which countries have extradited individuals wanted by India.

How far will an Interpol RCN help in bringing back Nirav Modi?

An RCN, if issued, will help restrict travel by Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi using their Indian passports. If either of them is detected making such an attempt, Indian agencies will be alerted through Interpol. While it can restrict Nirav Modi within the UK, the RCN alone will not bring him back. For this, India will need to send a extradition request for the UK to start the process, once he is located or provisionally arrested. However, if the UK chooses to deport him, the two countries need not go through the elaborate procedures of extradition.

READ | India moves ahead on extradition cases of Vijay Mallya, Sanjeev Chawla in UK

What are the rules for provisional arrest and extradition?

India’s treaty partners — which include the UK — have an obligation to consider requests for provisional arrest. In the absence of a treaty, India can still make a request, which the other country will decide in accordance with its laws. In case of urgency, India may request a provisional arrest pending presentation of an extradition request.

Each extradition treaty specifies the documents required and means for a provisional arrest request. The concerned law enforcement agency in India prepares the request and sends it to the Ministry of External Affairs, which forwards it to the concerned authority of the other country.

The government has requested the UK to extradite Vijay Mallya. (AP Photo)

An extradition request can be initiated after a chargesheet has been filed in a court and after the court, having taken cognisance of the case, has issued orders justifying the fugitive’s committal for trial, and sought his presence.

ALSO READ | Extraditing Vijay Mallya to India won’t be that easy: Here is the process

What offences are covered under extradition treaties?

While bilateral, most treaties seem to follow at least five principles: extradition applies only to offences stipulated as extraditable in the treaty; these must be offences under the national laws of both countries; the requested country must be satisfied that there is a prima facie case made out against the accused; the extradited person must be proceeded against only for the offence for which extradition was requested; he must be accorded a fair trial.

What is the nature of the India-UK Extradition Treaty?

It was signed in 1992 and has been in effect since 1993. As per Article 2, an extradition offence is one which, under the laws of each state, entails imprisonment for at least one year.

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Besides Nirav Modi, which other fugitives from Indian law are in the UK?

Vijay Mallya is one. India has made eight more extradition requests to the UK — for Rajesh Kapoor (2011) for forgery and fraud, Tiger Hanif (2004) for involvement in terrorism, Atul Singh (2012) for sex crimes, Raj Kumar Patel (2009) for forgery, Jatinder Kumar Angurala and Asha Rani Angurala (2014) for bank fraud, Sanjeev Kumar Chawla (2004) for cricket betting and Shaik Sadiq (2004) for conspiracy and theft. These requests are in various stages of judicial process.

The two countries also share a list of 60 fugitives wanted by India and reportedly hiding in the UK, while the latter has provided a list of 17 people whose custody it seeks under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.

The CBI has moved Interpol for Red Corner Notices (RCNs) against fugitives Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi The CBI has moved Interpol for Red Corner Notices (RCNs) against fugitives Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.

How many has the UK extradited so far?

Only one, Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel, was extradited to India in 2016. From the Indian side, Bangladeshi national Mohammad Abdul Shakur, wanted in the UK for murder, was recently extradited. In 2008, India had extradited Maninderpal Singh Kohli to the UK in connection with the Hannah Foster murder case.

Besides these, the UK has rejected extradition requests for fugitives Raymond Varley, Ravi Shankaran, Velu Boopalan, Ajay Prasad Khaitan, Virendra Kumar Rastogi and Anand Kumar Jain. Varley claimed he was suffering from dementia and was not the man wanted in India for sex crimes. The request for Navy war room leak Shankaran’s extradition was rejected by a UK court for lack of evidence. Those for the extradition of Boopalan, Khaitan, Rastogi and Jain, too, were rejected for insufficient evidence of extradition offences.

ALSO READ | Special PMLA court issues non-bailable warrant against Nirav Modi

With which countries does India share extradition treaties?

As of now, India has extradition treaties with 48 countries including the US, the UAE, Hong Kong, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. India has entered into extradition arrangements with Croatia, Italy and Sweden, as well as Fiji, Italy, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sweden and Tanzania. In countries with which India does not have a treaty, the government can, by a notified order, treat as an extradition treaty any convention to which India and the other country are parties.

In which other countries are fugitives wanted by India staying at present?

Fugitives abroad include Arup Nag (UAE), Amit Wadhwa (US) and Vivek Sinha (US) for bank fraud, Mailakkattu Varghese Uthuppu (UAE) for a recruitment racket, Moideenabba Ummer Beary (UAE) for smuggling and counterfeiting high value currency, and Christian Michel (UAE), Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa (Italy) in connection with the Agusta Westland scam.

Which fugitives has India been able to bring back so far?

Apart from Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel from the UK, only four fugitives have been extradited to India from various countries since 2014. During 2002-13, 54 terrorists and other fugitives were extradited to India from the UAE, the US, Nigeria, Hong Kong, Germany, Canada, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Oman, Peru, Mauritius, Morocco, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Bulgaria, South Africa, Australia, Tanzania and Portugal, including a British citizen each from the US, Tanzania and Bulgaria in 2004-05.

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