Published: 26th February 2021
What the FAQ: Nirav Modi can be extradited to India, what does extradition mean, who can make a request?
After Nirav Modi's extradition to India was confirmed by the British Judiciary, we try and explain what the term means, who can make an extradition request and a lot more
In a major development, India has finally secured an order on Thursday from the British judiciary to extradite Nirav Modi. The court found that there was a prima facie case for him to answer in the Indian courts. The Westminster Magistrates Court also rejected several key arguments by the fugitive, including his attempt to argue that he would not face a fair trial in India as there is a political witch-hunt against him and that the conditions in jail would not be aligned with human rights statutes.
Here we explain what extradition means, which countries can India request for extradition and more.
What is extradition?
Ans: As defined by the Supreme Court of India, "Extradition is the delivery on the part of one state to another of those whom it is desired to deal with for crimes of which they have been accused or convicted and are justifiable in the courts of the other state." An extradition request for an accused can be initiated in the case of under-investigation, under-trial and convicted criminals. In cases under investigation, abundant precautions have to be exercised by the law enforcement agency to ensure that it is in possession of prima facie evidence to sustain the allegation before the Courts of Law in the Foreign State.
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Can anyone make an extradition request from India’s side?
Ans: No. Requests for extradition on behalf of the Republic of India can only be made by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. The request has to be formally submitted to the desired foreign state through diplomatic channels. Extradition cannot be requested by members of the public.
Which countries can India make an extradition request to?
Ans: India is able to make an extradition request to any country while India’s treaty partners have obligations to consider its requests. In the absence of a treaty, it is up to the foreign country, as per its domestic laws and procedures, to determine whether the country can agree to India’s extradition request. Similarly, any other country can make an extradition request to India. Extradition is possible from the non-treaty states as Section 3(4) of the Indian Extradition Act, 1962 provides for the process of extradition with non-treaty foreign states.