In prior blogs, the US and Indian extradition laws have been discussed, lastly, the extradition treaty between India and the United Kingdom will be addressed. The reasoning behind the same is such that there is one treaty which has been a constant source of challenges for India since it was struck, i.e., the infamous India-UK bilateral treaty. In 1992, India and the United Kingdom struck an extradition deal. Just two petitions for extradition of fugitives living in the UK have been approved ever since. Until now, all previous pleas have remained unanswered. Extradition procedures in the United Kingdom are sluggish.


UK extradition has encountered a brick block due to either general extradition conditions not being satisfied or relevant impediment to the procedure being triggered. Throughout all cases, the defense teams sought to smear the Indian authorities, charging them of ill faith and heinous conduct. For the past several years, it has been difficult to keep Indian fugitives' white-collar offences out of the press. To mention a few from a lengthy array, Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, and Lalit Modi. Vijay Mallya, accused of the biggest economic frauds and financial crimes, is yet to be extradited due to allegations of political motivation and human rights violations in Indian jails. Affluent fugitive Nirav Modi has relied heavily on the Vijay Mallya case rulings. His claim is based on human rights, citing a dreadful physical state in Indian Prisons that leads to suicide. Most extradition cases involve significant financial criminals, like the ones mentioned above.


As per Article 1 of the Extradition Treaty involving India and the United Kingdom, it is India's and the United Kingdom's responsibility to extradite any individual charged or convicted of an extradition crime committed inside the territory of one State before or after the Treaty's entering into force.1 In criminal proceedings, each contracting state must provide mutual aid to the other. An extradition offence is characterized as one that is chargeable by a prison term of at least one year by the laws of both contracting States, excluding political offences but including pecuniary offences or major crimes such as murder, triggering an explosion, terrorism, and so on. If the individual is being prosecuted for the extradition offence in the requested State's courts, or if the accused can show that the trial in the requested State is unfair, repressive, biased, or discriminating, the plea for extradition may very well be declined. A certificate of conviction is essential when the request is for someone who has already been convicted. The individual may be temporarily detained by the requesting State before his extradition request is processed in emergency circumstances. Assuming his extradition request has still not been received within 60 days from the date of detention, he may be released. After being extradited to the asking State, a person can only be prosecuted for the crime sought, any lesser crime, or any crime agreed to by the requesting State within 45 days. Extradition may be rejected for an offence that carries the death penalty in the seeking state but does not carry the death penalty in the requested state for a similar offence. When extradition is authorized, the requested State must deliver the accused at a designated location or the requesting state ought to remove the individual from the territory inside one month or as otherwise stated. Above all, the UK-India extradition treaty requires reforming. This is especially significant in the case of UK-India renditions. The UK does not require a valid passport to remain in the country if it was valid when leave to remain or enter was granted. The UK does not deport anyone whose passports have been revoked by India. While there is a need to align treaty responsibilities with national enforcement legislation and guarantees of human rights duties, the truth remains that the UK's lenient attitude toward extradition proceedings has created a New Haven for economic criminals. It's worth considering if the UK has taken the simplest approach to attracting investment by becoming a refuge for money launderers. The sheer volume of Indian requests, along with the nature of the offences, calls for reform since current legislation and practice are being abused by economic criminals.2


For decades, extradition has been the favored method of implementing domestic criminal law beyond the jurisdictional bounds of a nation. While bilateral and multilateral conventions legitimize the existence of extradition, it is essentially the result of diplomacy and international relations. A development worthy of noting in the field of extradition is that of the increasing allegiance to the ideology of human rights. A fresh emphasis on human rights ideology has succeeded in bringing under emphasis even the concerns of fugitive criminals. Until lately, the principle of sovereignty prohibited the court and executive from investigating the requester's judicial system. Individuals' rights have replaced the rule of non-inquiry, which was based on civility and friendliness amongst governments. As a result, the fugitive's right to life and freedom from torture became a consideration in the decision to extradite. Extradition was originally employed to protect states' political and religious interests, but it progressively evolved into an international collaboration to protect global social values and fight crime. Weakening the inflated perception of national sovereignty unrestrained by law, and the creation of humanitarian international law protecting human rights and interests have cleared the path for a true international law concerning extradition. Justice is essential to international and national security. In a politically divided world, governments must overcome sovereign impediments to expand their criminal justice systems beyond national borders. As a result, the offender's (accused or convicted) inability to enter the country is a substantial hindrance to the victim state's criminal justice system. When a criminal escapes to another nation to avoid prosecution in a certain state, extradition allows the state to reclaim the fugitive and prosecute him.


Extradition is therefore a method that helps a state that is politically handicapped owing to sovereign obstacles. Despite the political obstacles, extradition is a vital legal tool in assisting a state's criminal justice system.


1 Extradition Treaty between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, signed September 22, 1992, ratified November 15th, 1993.

2 Vaishali Basu Sharma, 'As UK Becomes A Haven For Financial Fraudsters, How Can India Improve Its Extradition Success Rate?' (The Wire, 2022) <> accessed 15 April 2022.

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