Extradition - Definition, Meaning, Significance

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 24, 2022, 5:16

Extradition refers to a legal arrangement in which a criminal is transferred from one country to another without his/her consent. It is a judicial process different from deportation where the authorities of a nation formally send a criminal to another government for prosecution of a crime.

The Indian Extradition Act of 1962 governs this process in India. This applies to extraditing criminals from and to India. The foundation is a treaty between the nation and foreign countries. India currently has such agreements with 43 countries.

The best example of extradition is that of underworld don Abu Salem who was brought from Portugal to India for charges. He was extradited to India along with his wife on a condition not to be given the death penalty.

The information about fugitive criminals is received either from the countries or through the Interpol wing of the CBI that conveys the information to the immigration and police departments before the action is completed.

Extradition Overview

A request for extradition of a criminal can be made in cases of trials, investigations, and convictions. Indian citizens returning to the nation after committing crimes in Gulf countries are not extradited to other places. They are instead prosecuted in India according to Indian law because treaties with these countries don't accept the extradition of their own nationals.

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Extradition has been a highlighted news topic because two criminals Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi approved to be extradited recently by the United Kingdom. In February 2021, the UK signed the Extradition order of Nirav Modi who is accused of a 13,758 crore rupees Punjab National Bank fraud.

Vijay Mallya is another economic offender, the owner of Kingfisher Airlines, whose extradition was approved in 2019. Though India is pressing on these extraditions, these criminals are using tricks to delay deportation to India.

Indian Extradition Act

The Indian Extradition Act defines the extradition treaty as an arrangement made by the country with a foreign nation regarding the extradition of fugitive criminals that is binding on and extending to India. These treaties are generally bilateral in character.

The procedure applies to crimes mentioned in the treaty and those that count as offences in the laws of both countries. The requested nation should be convinced of a prima facie case against the criminal. Moreover, the offender should be provided with a fair trial under the extradition.

Extradition is an important process because it gets fugitives to face trials in countries, they commit crimes. These criminals flee to other countries to escape the law enforcement in their country. This legal procedure makes sure such criminals are brought quickly to justice.

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FAQs on Extradition

Q.1. When did India sign an Extradition treaty with the UK?

India has signed the Extradition treaty with the United Kingdom in 1993.

Q.2. Which countries have no Extradition treaties with India?

India does not have Extradition treaties with Pakistan, China, Maldives, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Myanmar.

Q.3. What is the significance of Extradition?

Extradition is an important practice for law as it facilitates the prosecution of criminals in the nation in which they commit the crime, preventing offenders from fleeing to other countries to escape law enforcement.

Q.4. Which act regulates Extradition in India?

The Indian Extradition Act 1962 forms the legislative foundation for extradition in India.