NIA claims progress in Rana Extradition | November 2020 Current Affairs UPSC Law Optional Mains
What happened ? Tahawwur Rana, a prime accused in 26/11 Mumbai attacks is facing extradition proceedings. The fresh extradition memorandum filed in District Court of California in September demands his extradition for ‘conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to kill, kidnap, maim or injure persons or damage property in a foreign country and damaging a building by using explosives.’
He was convicted for providing material support to Lashkar-e-Taiba and is sentenced to 14 years imprisonment in US.
What India did ? India filed extradition plea for ‘conspiracy to wage war and cheating’ and NIA registered a case of forgery, criminal conspiracy, murder and under various sections under the anti-terror UAPA.
Legal issue : Due to double jeopardy clause in US law the accused cannot be punished for the same offence again for which he is already punished, therefore, India requested for Rana’s custody for active involvement in planning an attack on the National Defence College in Delhi and Chabad Houses i.e. Jewish religious centers in various cities in 2009.
Rana, assisted David Coleman Headley, the prime suspect in the Mumbai attacks, to open an immigration firm in Mumbai that was used as a cover to conduct reconnaissance on possible targets that were attacked on November 26, 2008.[ https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/nia-says-progress-in-tahawwur-rana-extradition-proceedings/article33195519.ece ]
What is extradition?
Extradition is the delivery of an accused or a convicted individual to the State on whose territory he is alleged to have committed, or to have been committed of a crime, by a State on whose territory the alleged criminal happens to be for the time being. – OPPENHEIM
India-US extradition treaty
Extradition treaty between the Government of USA and the Government of India was signed at Washington on June 25, 1997.
Article 1 of the treaty obliges each party to extradite to the other State any person who is charged with or found guilty of an extraditable offence in the Requesting State, where such offence was committed before or after entry into force of extradition treaty.
Article 2(1) of the treaty defines ‘extraditable offence’ as one which is punishable under laws of both the contracting nations by deprivation of liberty for a period of more than a year or by more severe penalty. [Principle of dual criminality]
Article 2(2) provides that ‘extraditable offence’ includes an attempt or a conspiracy to commit, aiding or abetting, counseling or procuring the commission of or being an accessory before or after the fact to, any extraditable offence defined under clause 1.
Extradition in case of political crimes is prohibited.
Besides this, there is Extradition Act, 1962 in India.
The extradition proceedings in Rana’s case have been postponed to 12 February, 2021 but there is progress in the case as stated by NIA.
Cases of extradition
Dr Ram Babu Saxena v. State
Tarasov extradition case
State of Madras v. C.G. Menon, AIR (1954) SC
Hans Muller of Nuremberg v. Superintent, Presidency Jail, Calcutta, AIR 1955 SC
Kubic Darusz v. U.O.I, 1990 SC
Sarabjit Rick Singh v. Union of India, 2008 SC
Mohd. Zubair Fauzal Awam v. State, 2011 Cri.L.J 2975
P. Pushpavathy v. Ministry of External Affairs, 2013 Cri.L.J 4420
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