INDIAN EXTRADITION LAW- AN OVERVIEW
Globalisation is the current trend around the world. Every country is dependent on other countries. All countries are connected with the other countries in some legal ways like trade, diplomatic relations, etc. Such of kind of relationship between the countries help each other in need. Unlike the informal relationship between the countries, thereis also formal relationships created with some responsibilities and duties by signing treaties and agreements. One such formal diplomatic relationship includes extradition.
Extradition is the official procedure of one nation surrendering an individual to another nation for trial or punishmentof crimes committed by the individual in the requesting state’s jurisdiction. It is usuallyempowered by a mutual or multilateral arrangement. In certain cases,some countries will also agree to extradite without a treaty.This kind of extradition happens in erratic instances.
Extradition is an obliging law execution process, between the two dominions and the process is subject to theprovisions of the treaty or agreement entered into between them. The process also comprises the physical transmission or handover of custody of the person being extradited to the legal authority of the requesting country.
In the course of extradition, one sovereign authoritybasically makes anofficial request to another sovereign authority. If the escapee is found within the territorial limits of the requested nation, then the requested national police or appointed officers may takecustody the escapee and subject ofthe escapee to its extradition process. The procedural rules of extradition dependon the current practicing laws of the requested state.
EXTRADITION LAWS IN INDIA:
Extradition of a person from India to another foreign country or from another foreign country to India is governed by the Extradition Act, 1962. This Actprovides for theexistinglegislative basis for extradition laws in India. The Act lays down the basic provisions of extradition law in India. The duty to extradite a requested personraise from the treaties or arrangements or conventions entered into by India with other countries.
As per Section 3 of the Extradition Act, the Indian Government issues a notification, notifying the list of countries to which the Extradition Act is extended. Thus, a combined reading of the Act and the relevant treaties entered into by India gives us a basic understanding of the extradition laws in India.
Section 2(c) of the Act defines Extradition Offence. An Extradition offence is an offence mentioned in the extradition treaty with another foreign nation. Or in the absence of a treat or an agreement any offence punishable with imprisonment not less than one year under any Indian Law or any foreign laws. The offence may be wholly committed in India or a foreign country or committed partly in India and partly in other nations would also constitute an extradition offence in India.
The person who is being requested to be extradited is called a fugitive criminal. Under section 2(f) of the Extradition Act, a fugitive criminal is a person whois aaccused or convicted for an extradition offence committed within the jurisdiction of a foreign nation.
The definition also includes the person contributingto the commission of an extradition offence in a foreign nation from within the territorial limits of India. Such offender is also liable to be extradited and is encompassed within the extensive definition of a 'fugitive criminal'.
Under Section 2(f) of the Extradition Act, the Act extends to a person while in India conspires, attempts to commit, provokes or participates as aco-conspirator in the commission of extradition offence in anoverseasnation.
Thus, a person in India, endeavouring or colluding or assisting the commission of extradition offence from within the territorial limits of India, is also covered in the definition of a 'fugitive criminal' and islegally responsible to be extradited.
Under section 2(d) of the Act, an extradition treaty is an agreement or treaty or an arrangement made or entered into with other foreign nations or nations with regard to extradition of fugitive criminals. An extradition treaty providesthe provisions and procedures regardingextradition. The agreement also provides for the crimes for which extradition can be made or agreed to extradite.
In certain cases, the government shall refuse to extradite a fugitive criminal. Under Section 31 of the Extradition Act, a fugitive criminal shall not be extradited in the following cases:
A person shall not be extradited in case of anoffence reported of,by the foreign nation, is of political nature, directly, or the request is made outwardly for a non-political offence, simplyas to punish the fugitive for an offence of Political nature.
The person shall not be extradited if the prosecution of the offence istime-barred in the foreign country.
Extradition is refused if the fugitive is been accused of any other offence in India other than the extradition offence is sought, or
The fugitive is already convicted under Indian laws and is undergoing punishment.Or at least until the expiration of 15 days from the date of being imprisoned by the magistrate.
Extradition has become a major part of international law and in the maintenance of diplomatic relations with other countries. Extradition is considered to be the “international judicial co-operation”of world nations in criminal matters and also considered as an act of international judicial assistance. No criminal should escape from the eyes of the law. The concept of extradition is brought in to ensure that every criminal is punished as per the laws even if he absconds from the territorial jurisdiction.