Ker HC | International Arrest Warrant by itself will not suffice to extradite an accused to UAE. For extradition, request should be communicated in writing via diplomatic channels, HC states

Kerala High Court:  N. Nagaresh, J., addressed the petition seeking to direct the State to implement International Arrest Warrant and to handover the accused to the Government of Dubai as per the provisions of the Extradition Act, 1962.

The petitioner was an NRI businessman in Dubai; the accused befriended him on the pretext of being a business partner of a well known Hotel in Dubai. The accused borrowed an amount of Six Million UAE Dirhams from the petitioner and promised to repay the said amount before 10-06-2015. But, before the said stipulated date, the accused absconded to India without repaying the amount. Counsel for the petitioner,  T.K. Vipindas submitted that the accused had borrowed money from several banks and other individuals in UAE and had absconded from UAE to India without discharging his debts. There were 8 criminal cases registered against him by Dubai Police and the Dubai Court had convicted the accused for imprisonment for a term of two years. Also, an International Arrest Warrant was issued against the accused on 16-05-2018. The petitioner contended that, Government of India has executed the Extradition Treaty with the Government of United Arab Emirates. As per Article 2 of the said Treaty, a person sentenced by the court of the requesting State with the imprisonment for six months in respect of an offence, is liable to be extradited.

The respondent submitted that in the case of extradition of an Indian national from India to UAE, the provisions contained in Article 5 of the Extradition Treaty would be applicable. Article 5 of the Extradition Treaty reads as follows:

“The nationals of the Contracting States shall not be extradited to the other Contracting State provided that the requested State shall submit the case to its competent authorities for prosecution if the act committed is considered as an offence under the laws of both Contracting States.”

 The respondent relied on Bhavesh Jayanti Lakhani v. State of Maharashtra, (2009) 9 SCC 551, wherein the Supreme Court had held that, arrest of a fugitive criminal can be made at the instance of Central Government only when request to this effect is received from foreign country and not otherwise.

 The Court observed that, it was evident that nationals of Contracting States should not be extradited unless there was a request made by the State concerned. Since no such request had been received from the Government of UAE seeking extradition of the accused; therefore, going by the Extradition Treaty, the accused could not be extradited. Article 8 of the Extradition Treaty had prescribed that the request for extradition should be made in writing and dispatched through the diplomatic channels with supporting documents and particulars. Therefore, the Court dismissed the instant petition, holding that an International Arrest Warrant by itself would not suffice to arrest an accused and extradite him to UAE. [Rakhul Krishnan v. Union of India,  2020 SCC OnLine Ker 8409, decided on 21-12-2020]

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