The government seeks custody of liquor baron Vijay Mallya from the UK, but India’s success rate at extradition has been no more than 36% over 15 years, according to this report by Factly.in, a data journalism portal. This means India managed one extradition of every three sought.
While 62 fugitives have been extradited to India from a foreign country between 2002 and 2016, 110 fugitives are yet to be extradited, though a formal request has been made by India, according to an answer to the Lok Sabha on December 6, 2016, Factly.in reported.
Mallya was arrested by the Scotland Yard – and released on bail – on April 18 in connection with an extradition request filed by India on February 8. The UK government has sent the request to the concerned court and the arrest marks the beginning of the process of extradition.
Mallya is wanted in several cases related to economic offences in India. The now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines that he set up owes over Rs 9,000 crore to state-owned and private banks, as the Indian Express reported on April 18.
There were 16 extradition requests pending with UK as of July 2016, according to this answer in the Lok Sabha. Only one fugitive has been extradited from UK – Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel, an Indian citizen, for murder; the extradition came in October 2016, 23 years after India’s extradition treaty with the UK came into force in 1993.
The highest extraditions happened from UAE (18), followed by USA (9). While four each were extradited from Canada and Thailand, three have been extradited from Germany and South Africa.
India has signed extradition treaties with 47 countries.
What is the extradition process?
A request for extradition can be initiated against a fugitive criminal who is formally accused of, charged with or convicted of an extradition offence. The Ministry of External Affairs takes up extradition requests with the concerned foreign countries when a request for extradition is received from the relevant law enforcement agencies in India.
All extradition requests should be supported by documents and information as prescribed by the Ministry of External Affairs guidelines. It has to be noted that each extradition request is different and the request is dependent on the specific treaty/agreement signed with a country. The offence should also be defined in the list of the extradition offences.
The treaty with UK
The extradition treaty signed in 1993 with the UK defines the scope of the extradition offence as one which is punishable by law for a term of imprisonment of at least one year. The treaty does not classify political offences as extradition offences but it provides an exhaustive list of offences that will not be treated as a political offence.
Most fugitives extradited in 2005
Eight fugitives were extradited in 2005, the highest in a year, followed by seven each in 2003 and 2004. Six fugitives were extradited in 2015 during the rule of the current government.
Out of the 62 fugitives extradited since 2002, 14 were extradited for murder-related offences and 10 for offences related to criminal conspiracy.
As many as nine fugitives were extradited for terrorism-related offences, including three of them from the UAE, in relation to the Mumbai bomb blasts in 1993.
This article first appeared on IndiaSpend, a data-driven and public-interest journalism non-profit.