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Justice beyond boundaries: Extradition

What is the fate of people who commit crime in one state and then flee to another state? These criminals cannot be forgiven for the crime they have just committed because they have left the jurisdiction of the country. They are presented before the state in whose jurisdiction he has committed the crime. Extradition is implemented on persons those who are charged with a crime but not yet tried those tried and convicted who have escaped custody, and those convicted in absentia. According to the principle of territoriality of legal code, states don’t apply their laws to acts committed outside their boundaries except within the protection of special national interests. Different states irrespective of their position are generally willing to cooperate in bringing fugitives to justice. Thus, eventually process of extradition takes place. To explain it in a better manner let’s consider this example- Howard committed a rape in Georgia and then flees away to Alabama after committing the crime. Georgia then issues and arrest warrant in his name and then in Alabama he commits the crime of drink and drive. He is arrested by the police of Alabama and then notifies Georgia about his arrest. Georgia asks for his return. Alabama sends Howard through the extradition process and he is held accountable for the rape he had committed in Georgia and punished for the same. Extradition is regulated within states by extradition acts and between various states by diplomatic treaties. Extradition acts specify the crimes that are extraditable, clarify extradition procedures and safeguards, and stipulate the connection between the act and international treaties. National laws differ greatly regarding the connection between extradition acts and treaties. Although the countries that do not have any extradition agreements with certain other countries are considered to be a safe place the fugitives or the criminals. Extradition offences are defined as those offences which are punishable in both the states for imprisonment for a period of at least one year, excluding offences of political character and including serious offences like murder, rape, terrorism, etc. In the United States, extradition may be granted only pursuant to a treaty and only if Congress has not legislated to the contrary, a situation that also exists in Britain, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Germany and Switzerland extradite without a proper convention in cases where their governments and therefore the requesting state have exchanged declarations of reciprocity. The legal concept of extradition was created by the Extradition Clause of the Constitution of the us of America, found in Article IV, Section 2. The rules and procedure for extradition are often found within the Federal Code of Laws at 18 U.S. Code Chapter 209. In order to be extradited, states must follow the following rules:

1. Demand made by an executive authority to the state where the fugitive fled.

2. Provide a copy of the indictment or an affidavit with the demand.

3. The indictment must be for treason, felony or other crime.

4. The documents must be certified by the governor or chief magistrate of the state where the crime was committed.

5. The state where the fugitive has fled must arrest the fugitive and notify the state demanding return of such arrest.

6. The agent of the chief authority who requested extradition must appear to receive the fugitive within 30 days of the date of arrest.

Now, let’s talk about the scenario of extradition in India. In India the process of extradition is regulated by the Indian Extradition Act, 1962. As of now India has bilateral extradition treaties with forty two countries and arrangements with nine more countries. The legal basis for Extradition with States with whom India doesn’t have an Extradition Treaty (non-Treaty States) is provided by Section 3(4) of the Indian Extradition Act, 1962, which states that the Central Government may, by notified order, treat any convention to which India and a far off state are parties, as an Extradition Treaty made by India with that foreign state providing for extradition in respect of the offences laid out in that Convention. India is additionally a celebration to the 1997 International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings. This also provides a legal basis for Extradition in Terror Crimes.

In May 2011, the Indian Government ratified two UN Conventions – the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and therefore the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (UNCTOC) and its three protocols.

When an Extradition Treaty exists between the concerned countries, the extradition request must be in terms of the specific requirements therein. In terms of the great Guidelines for Investigation Abroad and Issue of Letters Rogatory (LRs) issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, extradition requests are made only after the filing of a blotter , cognisance of an equivalent and issuance of an bench warrant . If the accused is to be arrested and produced within the courts of India, the requisite action is thru the extradition process. The extradition request must contain an order of the Magistrate justifying the accused person’s committal to trial on the idea of the evidence made available within the charge-sheet, with directions seeking to secure the presence of the accused in Court to face trial within the said court from the country of present stay, along side a replica of the First Information Report (FIR) duly counter-signed by the competent judicial authority. Such request must be amid an ingenious and open-dated warrant of arrest stating clearly the offences that the accused has been charged which the Court has taken cognisance of the said sections.

Extradition is the medium through which the convicts or the criminals who have committed a crime in one state and then flees away to another in the hope if they leave the jurisdiction of the law in the state they committed a crime then they will not be tried in the state. But irrespective of the boundaries this process of extradition aims at serving justice all over the world. The same criminal is extradited in the state he has committed a crime and is presented before the court for the crime he has committed. Thus, even though we are divided by boundaries and have our own laws, we are still able to punish a criminal who has committed a heinous crime in a state and runs away to another.

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