Verhoeven, Marie-Emmanuelle Vs. Union of India and Ors, on 28th April, 2016, Supreme Court of India: Case Brief – Read Judgement

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Principle of Reciprocity does not require availability of Extradition Treaty between countries
Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 178 of 2015
Bench: Justice Madan B. Lokur; Justice N. V. Ramana

Case Brief: The present writ petition involves the seriously important issue that ‘whether there is a binding extradition treaty in terms of Section 2 (d) of the Extradition Act, 1962 between India and Chile.’ In the facts of the case, Republic of Chile had sought for the extradition of the petitioner who is believed to be a French national. However, notably, the said petitioner being accused of conspiracy in the assassination of Chilean Senator. Earlier the extradition of petitioner was sought, the Delhi High Court held that the extradition proceedings initiated against petitioner were no as per law. Then another requisition made by the Republic of Chile and present proceedings initiated afresh. The bench observed that the provisions of Section 637, 638 and 639 of the Code of Criminal Procedure in Chile is applicable for the extradition of the fugitive criminal. However, in terms of the said provisions the Supreme Court of Justice of Chile rendered a decision and there it is held that there is no extradition treaty between Chile and India. However, on the basis of the other conclusion of the Court in Chile, the extradition request is sent to India.

On the basis of the said, the request is sent to Ministry Of External Affairs in India contending that the said request is made on the basis of international law principles from multilateral conventions and bilateral treaties on extradition, among which is included the extradition treaty between the Republic of Chile and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland signed at Santiago in the year 1897, in force for both of the countries. Thus, after a long analysis of the facts and prevailing situations, the bench decided to consider the question that ‘whether the extradition treaty entered into in 1897 is still in force and binding on India and Chile.’ The Bench observed that the decision of the Supreme Court of Chile made in the year 2015, clears that fact of existence of extradition treaty between India and Chile and also said it is in force, for them. It was also observed by the bench that as the Republic of Chile requesting the extradition on the principle of reciprocity, India too had resorted to this principle when it sought the extradition of Abu Salem from Portugal, although that time India requested seeking his extradition also, by relying on the International Convention for Suppression of Terrorist Bombings.

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The bench considered that observation made by Justice Ganguly, that “the primary consideration for request of extradition was the assurance of reciprocity.” Thus, for the invoke to the principle of reciprocity, there need not even be an extradition treaty between countries. As such, the bench decided that there is binding extradition treaty between India and Chile and provisions of the Extradition Act, 1962 (other than chapter III thereof) are applicable to the Republic of Chile.

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Read the Judgement: Verhoeven, Marie-Emmanuelle Vs. Union of India And Ors

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