Fugitives cite our system to avoid extradition

India has proposed nine points to the G-20 member nations asking for strong cooperation to deal with fugitive economic offenders.India’s note to the others reads: “Cooperation in legal processes such as effective freezing of the proceeds of crime, early return of the offenders and efficient repatriation of the proceeds of crime should be enhanced and streamlined.”I do not know of any economic offender who flees from other nations to India so presumably we are doing this mainly with respect to Indians who run away to these countries. The G-20 nations are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.Again, I do not know of Indians who flee to Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Indonesia and such places. The preferred place is the United Kingdom. The question we Indians should ask is: What is the problem in getting the UK to extradite our citizens?In November last year, the Westminster magistrates’ court in London ruled against India which was trying to extradite bookie Sanjeev Kumar Chawla and an Indian couple, Jatinder and Asha Rani Angurala. Judge Rebecca Crane said she was satisfied there was a prima facie case against Chawla over his role in the fixing of “cricket matches played between India and South Africa during the tour of the South African cricket team to India under the captainship of Hansie Cronje in February-March 2000.”But she still refused to extradite him because she felt his human rights would be violated in Tihar Jail. She ruled: “There are strong grounds for believing that Chawla would be subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in the Tihar prison complex.

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