The Repatriation of Prisoners Act, 2003

Act is said to be “Repatriation of Prisoners Act, 2003”.  Act will come into force when state government once by notify in gazette. For the purpose of Act, “prisoner means, person undergoing sentence of imprisonment under an order passed by a criminal court include the courts which are formed by law in respective states”. Thus, by notification in gazette, as per direction of central government act or its provisions will apply in that country, any place, or outside India as specified. Where,  in notification if it is transfer of prisoners between other country and India then such notification should mentioned in writing to that treaty and thus it will not continue to be in force after expiration of period mentioned to treaty. If central government feel that act or provisions of act need to be altered or modified in that treaty or that country or that place then central government by notifying in gazette will apply such modification.

If Indian is with custody of prisoner of that state with whom contract is made, then that contracted state may by application to central government ask for transfer of that prisoner custody from India to that contracted country. Once application made central government then on receipt of application made they will ask officer who is in charge of prisoner for who transfer application made, to provide information like no proceeding or any trial is not pending against such prisoner, or such is not sentenced with death punishment, or if he is not convicted for martial offence, or such transfer is not detrimental to jurisdiction, security or in interest of India then application is accepted and transfer is forwarded by central government to that contracted state.

Application of transfer has to be send with proper means and proper procedure like copy of judgment that is been passed against that prisoner, accord the nature, duration, and date of commencing such sentence, reports like medical report, character report of prisoner, and document which will decide nature of his offence, and other such relevant information central government feel necessary to know. Once application is accepted by contracted state central government may ask for some information before taking decision of transfer that will be; document showing that prisoner is citizen of contracted stated, copy of document where act or omission on account of offence which is sentenced in India, as such is offence is in state also, document of duration and enforcement of sentence of prisoner once he is transferred in contracted state, administering sentence once prisoner is transferred, any undertaking and condition of central government, other such information which central government is necessary. Once it’s been communicated by contracted state to central government it may, express its consent for accepting the transfer of prisoner, comply with provision of warrant and once it’s satisfied it may transfer to state and central government may issue warrant as prescribed.

Central Government will appoint an officer who is not below rank of Joint-Secretary who has jurisdiction and within its limit, place of imprisonment of prisoner is located to issue warrant on behalf of central government and obtain signature of person to whom delivery of prisoner, records and other related things of prisoner to be removed from prison, once delivery of prisoner is done , the officer in charge will transfer prisoner with all documents required and give document of delivery of prisoner to contracted state.

Person who is authorised to take delivery of prisoner is deem to hold the custody of such prisoner and take him out of India take to its state and if that prisoner escapes in between such transfer within India then such prisoner can be arrested without warrant and deliver to nearest police station and thus, prisoner is accounted for committing offence under section 224 of Indian Penal Code and be liable for punishment within India with imprisonment.

If prisoner is transferred to contracting state then government may direct court to give all related records, proceeding records to contracting state government. In such manner prisoner who is been sentenced with contracting state can be transferred to India who is citizen of Indian can be transferred on agreed terms between India and contracting state and central government accepts the transfer then such prisoner is issued warrant to detain in prison with provision related to issue of warrant.

by Samata. H. Joshi.