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Accused cannot be arrested in any case till the extradition request is not warranted: Delhi High Court

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 held by Justice Vibhu Bakhru in Vinay Mittal vs. Union of India & Ors. [WR (CRL) 562/2019].

The petitioner was charge-sheeted in 7 separate cases for siphoning off funds and during the course of the trial the petitioner fled to Indonesia and extradition request was sent to Indonesian Authorities which was accepted and the petitioner was extradited and brought to India, however the extradition request for the remaining 6 cases was still pending before the Indonesian authorities. The petitioner contended that since the extradition was approved in only one matter he could not be prosecuted in other cases filed against him while placing reliance on the Rule of Specialty in Article 14 of the extradition treaty between the Republic of India and the Republic of Indonesia.

The Hon’ble Court took the views of  Daya Singh Lahoria Vs. Union of India [2001 4 SCC 516] where the Hon’ble Apex Court held while applying the ‘Doctrine of Specialty’ that the petitioner 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 Court 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 the foreign state cannot be tried in India for an offence other than the extradition offence in relation to which he was surrendered or returned”. It was further clarified by the Hon’ble Court that there will be no impediment on the authorities in prosecuting the petitioner in cases where the extradition is warranted.

It was also 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 were acceded to by the Republic of Indonesia. Hence, the pending application has been also disposed of.

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Judgement reviewed by-Sarita Kumari

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