Thursday, Sep 29, 2022

Tightening the net

The doctrine of extradition ensures an orderly process that protects the fugitive’s interests as it is subject to judicial review.

theresa may, may in india, narendra modi, modi, modi may, may meet modi, christian michel, vijay mallya, extradition, lalit modi ipl, lalit modi, indian express news, india news, world new India, UK have developed a comprehensive extradition framework. (AP photo)

Recent reports of Indian authorities spurring towards realising their goal of towing fugitives from the UK to India have garnered much attention; the discernible highlights being the proceedings against Vijay Mallya and Lalit Modi. The fillip in these proceedings can be credited to the talks held during the British PM’s visit to India; the official joint statement that both the PMs expressed a strong commitment to enhance cooperation under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty and to facilitate outstanding extradition requests from both sides.

Extradition’s judicial nature makes it favourable in certain respects than other forms of rendition such as deportation or abduction. Deportation falls more in the executive domain as, for instance, according to section 4 of the UK 1971 Immigration Act the powers in relation to deportation are to be exercised by immigration officers and the secretary of state. And abduction, as the very idea suggests, is an extreme last resort.

The doctrine of extradition ensures an orderly process that protects the fugitive’s interests as it is subject to judicial review. The Supreme Court of India confirmed five ingredients of extradition in Abu Salem Abdul Qayoom Ansari v. State of Maharashtra. They are: One, reciprocity, or an understanding that both states shall consider and honour each others’ extradition requests. Two, double criminality which requires that the charges against the fugitive are punishable in both countries. Three, extraditable offences — an understanding that certain offences invite extradition. Fourth, speciality — the fugitive should not be prosecuted for offences other than those mentioned in the extradition request, and finally, non-inquiry which implies that barring exceptions, the intentions of the requesting state should not be questioned.

India and the UK have developed a remarkably comprehensive framework to meet these modern day requirements. This framework includes national legislations such as the Indian Extradition Act (1962) and the UK Extradition Act (2003). A key document is the 1992 India-UK mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT). This treaty binds the parties on request to “offer the widest measure of mutual assistance in investigations and prosecutions in relation to criminal offences”. MLATs have successfully evolved as need-based arrangements aimed to overcome and avoid cumbersome processes to facilitate investigations and prosecutions. A recent example is the US’s cooperation with India’s National Investigation Agency in probing terror convict David Coleman Headley which helped obtain crucial information on the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Although earlier practice excluded fiscal crimes from extraditable offences, MLATs have helped overcome such barriers. The 2002 amendment to the 1966 Commonwealth Scheme allows extradition of fiscal offenders. 2002 also saw the enforcement of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, which contains a chapter on reciprocal agreements with foreign countries.

Subscriber Only Stories
Terror links to training sites to targeted killings: Govt’s case against PFIPremium
G-20 presidency is an opportunity to position India as the voice of the G...Premium
UPSC Key-September 28, 2022: Why you should read ‘Election Symbols’ or ‘D...Premium
Vinod Arya, father of Ankita murder accused Pulkit, who used ayurveda bus...Premium

MLATs function on a reciprocal basis and various countries have framed such legislation . In India, provisions in the Code of Criminal Procedure (1973) and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act deal with reciprocal arrangements. However, a legislation dealing with procedures pertaining to MLATs with a focus on issues like effecting overseas freezing orders, obtaining information on banking transactions and prisoner transfers can go a long way in aiding the government’s black money quest.

First published on: 05-12-2016 at 02:05:01 am
Next Story

Remarks against PM, Army: BJP to move HC against Mamata

Latest Comment
Post Comment
Read Comments