Extradition To India

EXTRADITEE CANNOT BE PROSECUTED FOR ANY OFFENCE OTHER THAN THOSE FOR WHICH EXTRADITION HAS BEEN GRANTED

Extradition

The term “Extradition” implies that one nation giving over an individual to another nation for the purposes of criminal trial or punishment. Treaties between nations and groups of nations govern international extraditions. However, many times it has been seen that Police officials while violating human rights of the person seek police remand of the person who has been extradited in respect of offences which were not part of the order of extradition.

But Indian law and International Treaties protect such persons from being prosecuted for the offences which had not been mentioned in the order of extradition.

CASE LAW BY SINGH LAWYERS

Khem Singh Gill v. Union of India, 2001(1) R.C.R (Criminal) 565

Mr. Navkiran Singh for the Petitioners

Civil Writ Petition No. 6475 of 2000– petition was filed for issuance of a writ of prohibition directing respondents No. 2 and 3 not to seek police remand of the sons of the petitioners who have been extradited to India in pursuance of the judgment of a Court in the United States of America.

Facts: Ranjit Singh son of Khem Singh Gill (petitioner No. 1), who was accused of committing various crimes including the murder of a Member of Parliament, his wife and another person tried in a Court of law despite the warrant of arrest issued by the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Delhi in April, 1987 because he fled to USA. The Government of India sought their extradition on the ground that they had committed various offences in India and the concerned Court passed order dated 23.5.1997 for their extradition to India for two specific offences. Ranjit Singh was ordered to be extradited for committing the murder of Member of Parliament, his wife and another person and Sukhwinder Singh Sandhu was extradited on the charge of his participation in shooting at Udaipur (Rajsthan).

The grievance of the petitioner was the police authorities of the State of Punjab were trying to secure remand of his son in respect of offences which do not form part of the order of extradition.

Mr. Navkiran Singh while appearing for petitioners had contended that an accused, who is being tried in respect of offences mentioned in the order of the extradition cannot be tried for any other offence which does not form a part of such order in view of the specific provision contained in Section 21 of the Extradition Act, 1962.

Hon’ble Double Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court held that

6. A bare reading of the provisions quoted above shows that a person who has been extradited cannot be kept in custody or be brought to trial in India for any other crime or offence than those for which extradition had been granted until he has been restored to the territories of High Contracting Party, i.e., United States of America, Great Britain and Northern Ireland by whom he had been surrendered. In view of this, there is no escape from the conclusion that Ranjit Singh and Sukhwinder Singh alias Sukhi cannot be brought to trial for any offence other than for which extradition was granted by the United States Court.

7.In view of the above, we hold that the police authorities of the State of Punjab cannot seek remand of the sons of the petitioners in relation to any offence other than those for which they have been extradited to India in pursuance of the order dated 23.5.1997 passed by the Court of USA.

8.In the result, the writ petition is allowed. Respondents No. 2 and 3 are restrained from seeking remand of the sons of the petitioners or taking any other step for bringing them to trial for any offence other than those in relation to which they have been extradited in pursuance of the judgment of the Court of the United States.

LEGISLATION

Section 21 of the Extradition Act, 1962 reads as follows:

Section 21. Accused or convicted persons surrendered or returned by foreign State not to be tried for certain offences- Whenever any person accused or convicted of an offence, which if committed in India would be an extradition offence, is surrendered or returned by a foreign State, such person shall not, until he has been restored or has had on opportunity of returning to that State, be treated in India for an offence other than –

(a) the extradition offence in relation to which he has surrendered or returned; or

(b) any lesser offence disclosed by the facts proved for the purposes of securing his surrender or return other than an offence in relation to which an order for his surrender or return could not be lawfully made; or

(c) the offence in respect of which the foreign State has given its consent.

Article 7 of the Extradition Treaty

A person surrendered can in no case be kept in custody or be brought to trial in the territories of the High Contracting Party to whom the surrender has been made for any other crime or offence, or on account of any other matters, than those for which the extradition shall have taken place, until he has been restored, or has had an opportunity of returning, to the territories of the High Contracting Party by whom he has been surrendered. This stipulation does not apply to crimes of offences committed after the extradition.

 

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