Extradition - Definition, Policy & Procedure

Extradition is the legal process by which a person is transferred from one country to another without the person’s consent. Here, a governmental authority formally and legally turns over an alleged criminal to another government for the person to face prosecution for a crime. It is a judicial process, unlike deportation.

Extradition is an important topic for IAS Exam as it has been in the news for some time now.

Indian Extradition Act, 1962

In India, the extradition of a fugitive criminal is governed under the Indian Extradition Act, 1962. This is for both extraditing of persons to India and from India to foreign countries. The basis of the extradition could be a treaty between India and another country. India has extradition treaties with 39 countries currently.

Example, underworld don Abu Salem was extradited from Portugal to India to face charges. He, along with his wife, was extradited on the conditions that they would not be given the death penalty in India. This was so because European law prevents extradition to a country where capital punishment is in practice.

Extradition Procedure in India

  • Information about the fugitive criminals wanted in foreign countries is received from the country or through Interpol.
  • The Interpol wing of the CBI then passes the information to the concerned police departments.
  • The information is also passed on to the immigration authorities.
  • Then, action can be taken under the 1962 act.

A few common bars on extradition:

  1. Failure to fulfil dual criminality – if the act for which the criminal’s extradition is requested is not a crime in the requested state, then the state can refuse extradition.
  2. Political crimes – most nations refuse the extradition of political criminal suspects. This excludes terrorist offences and violent crimes.
  3. The possibility of certain forms of punishment – if the accused is likely to receive capital punishment or torture in the requesting State, the requested state can refuse extradition.
  4. Jurisdiction – jurisdiction over a crime can be invoked to refuse extradition.
  5. The absence of an extradition treaty.

Indian nationals who return to India after committing offences in West Asia/Gulf countries are not extradited to those countries. They are liable to be prosecuted in India in accordance with Indian Law, as bilateral treaties with these countries preclude (except Oman) extradition of own nationals.

The topic of extradition is in the news of late because of the Vijay Mallya’s fraud and money laundering case. Mallya is in the United Kingdom and has been evading prosecution in India. In December 2018, a UK court had ordered the extradition of Mallya. So, this is an important topic and students should understand what the law in India says about this. For UPSC 2020, this is a part of General Studies Paper III, polity and international relations.

The following table contains the list of countries who presently have an extradition treaty with India:

Countries with Extradition Treaties with India
Country Year of Treaty
Australia 2011
Bahrain 2005
Bangladesh 2013
Belarus 2008
Belgium 1983
Bhutan 1997
Bulgaria 2006
Canada 1987
People’s Republic of China 1997
Egypt 2012
France 2005
Germany 2004
Hong Kong 1997
Indonesia 2013
South Korea 2004
Kuwait 2007
Malaysia 2011
Mauritius 2008
Mexico 2009
Switzerland 1996
Tajikistan 2009
Thailand 2013
Tunisia 2004
Turkey 2003
UAE 2000
United Kingdom 1993
Ukraine 2006
United States 1999
Uzbekistan 2000
Vietnam 2013
Afghanistan 2016

For more articles on important concepts for IAS exam and updates on UPSC current affairs, please visit BYJU’S Free IAS Prep regularly.

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