Author: Abhishek Purohit , Student at Jindal Global Law School
Extradition is a formal and diplomatic procedure, through which one state requests another to facilitate the return of some fugitive criminal, who has fled his/her domestic judicial territory and has taken refuge in some other nation. The existence of international extradition frameworks is there to facilitate good inter-state relations and enable justice. The very first state to come forward with its own extradition legal structure was Belgium in the year 1855, surprisingly enough they were also the first ones to pass a law safeguarding the right to asylum. Different nations have binding extradition treaties with one another, in form of declaration of reciprocity. However, in the absence of such binding agreements, few countries also become save havens for fugitive criminals. India currently has binding extradition treaties with 47 nations, and additional extradition arrangements with 11 countries.
Extradition in India is governed by the provisions of Indian Extradition Act, 1962. According to this, India can initiate an extradition of a fugitive criminal on the basis of an existing binding treaty or vice-versa, or in absence of a treaty an extradition arrangement could be the foundation. The government of India can also request to extend the ambit of the Indian Extradition Act,1962, using section 3 of this act. Section 3(4) of the abovementioned act also provides the basis for extradition of a criminal, who has taken refuge in a nation with which India does not have an existing extradition treaty, or in simpler words with ‘Non-Treaty States’. It says that the central government may use any existing international convention, to which the relevant state and India are parties to, as an underlying extradition treaty. Currently, India is a signatory to the “International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, 1997”, which provides for extradition related to terror related crimes. Likewise, India is a member of United Nations Conventions regulating extradition related to Corruption and Organized crimes.