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EXTRADITION TREATY

Why in news?

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has approved the signing and ratifying of the Extradition Treaty between the Republic of India and the Kingdom of Belgium

The following are the salient features of the Treaty:

  1. Obligation to Extradite

Each Party agrees to extradite to the other any person found in its territory, who is accused or convicted of an extraditable offence in the territory of the other Party.

  1. Extraditable Offences

An extraditable offence means an offence punishable under the laws of both the Parties with imprisonment for a period of one year or more severe punishment.  Where extradition is sought in respect of a convicted person, the duration of the sentence remaining to be served must be at least six months at the time of making the request.  Offences relating to taxation, or revenue or is one of a fiscal character also fall within the scope of this Treaty.

  1. Mandatory grounds for Refusal

Under the Treaty, extradition shall be refused if:

  1. The offence involved is a political offence.  However, the Treaty specifies certain offences, which will not be considered as political offences.
  2. The offence for which extradition is requested is a military offence
  3. The request for prosecution has been made for the purpose of prosecuting or punishing the person on account of his race, sex, religion, nationality or political opinion.
  4. The prosecution of enforcement of sentence has become time barred.

(iv)      Extradition of Nationals

Extradition of nationals is discretionary.  The nationality will be determined at the time the offence was committed.

Benefits

The Treaty would provide a legal framework for seeking extradition of terrorists, economic offenders, and other criminals from and to Belgium.  After ratification, the Treaty will enter into force from the date of exchange of instruments of ratification between India and Belgium

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September 2022
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