Vinay Mittal Versus Union of India and Ors.
Court / Forum : Delhi High Court
Citation : WP (CRL) 562/2019
Coram : Justice Vibhu Bakhru
Subject : Extradition
Date of Decision : 2020-08-18
- The present petition was filed for quashing of arrests of the Petitioner in various proceedings. He claimed that he was falsely implicated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (“CBI”) in various cases alleging siphoning of funds of Punjab National Bank (“PNB”).
- As per the Petitioner, he had initially joined the investigation and cooperated with the prosecution and that he is neither the prime accused nor the prime beneficiary of the alleged offences. However, the CBI filed charge sheets against him in various cases.
- The petitioner left India in May 2015 and failed and neglected to appear before the Courts in the proceedings instituted by the CBI. In view of this, a red corner notice was issued against the petitioner on October 21, 2016.
- The Petitioner was extradited in terms of a decree passed by the President of the Republic of Indonesia pursuant to an extradition request made by the Government of India. The Petitioner was brought to India by the CBI and was produced before the Special Judicial Magistrate, Ghaziabad on September 22, 2018 and was remanded to judicial custody.
- The petitioner contended that his arrests in other cases are illegal and violate Section 21 of the Extradition Act, 1962. It was contended on behalf of the Petitioner that since he was extradited only in one matter, he could not be prosecuted in other cases filed against him and that the same is not permissible in view of the Rule of Speciality as embodied in Article 14 of the extradition treaty between Republic of India and Republic of Indonesia.
- Whether the Petitioner who had been extradited and returned by a foreign state can be tried in India for an offence other than the offence in relation to which he was extradited?
- The Hon’ble High Court held that in terms of the extradition treaty entered into between India and Republic of Indonesia, a person extradited in accordance with the treaty cannot be proceeded against for any offence committed by that person before he was surrender or extradited, other than the offence for which the extradition is granted.
- The Hon’ble High Court also observed that it is clear from the language of Section 21 of the Extradition Act, 1962 that a person who has been extradited and returned by a foreign State cannot be tried in India for an offence other than the extradition offence in relation to which he was returned.
- Accordingly, the Hon’ble High Court allowed the petition and stated that the Petitioner’s contention that he cannot be arrested in any other case till the pending extradition requests are acceded to by the Republic of Indonesia, is merited.
- The Hon’ble High Court further clarified that there would be no impediment in the CBI prosecuting the petitioner in other cases once the extradition requests in respect of those cases are acceded to by the Republic of Indonesia.
Vipul Ganda is a Delhi based Advocate practicing largely at the Delhi High Court. His practice focus is Dispute Resolution and Litigation and his practice areas include Arbitration, Commercial, Civil, Constitutional, Corporate and Criminal Litigation.