- Apprentice Lawyer
The Kerala High Court recently ruled that an international warrant by itself is not sufficient to extradite a person to the United Arab Emirates. Any extradition could be allowed only after the foreign government made a formal request for extradition, the Court stated.
A Bench of Justice N Nagaresh was hearing a petition filed by one Rakhul Krishnan challenging the government’s inaction over extraditing one Sreejith Vijayan accused of committing financial fraud in Dubai.
Sreejith is the son of Kerala Legislative Assembly member Vijayan Pillai and was convicted for financial fraud alongside the son of a prominent CPI (M) leader.
The petitioner asserted that Sreejith had been convicted for his failure to return financial aid amounting to six million UAE dirhams (around Rs 11.93 crores) and was sentenced by a Dubai Court to imprisonment for two years.
Pursuant to a Delhi Court Order, the UAE government issued an international arrest warrant against Sreejith in May 2018, the petition said. Alleging inaction by the central government in carrying out the extradition, the petitioner had sought a Court directive ordering expedited extradition.
The Inspector General, Thiruvananthapuram Range of the Crime Branch as well as the Central government informed the Court that a formal request through the diplomatic channel was necessary for extradition as per Article 5 of the extradition treaty between UAE and India.
Upon such a request being made, the central government would decide whether to extradite or initiate local prosecution, the State submitted.
Agreeing with the proposition, Justice Nagaresh stated:
“In view of the Extradition Treaty between the Government of Republic of India and the United Arab Emirates, an International Arrest Warrant by itself will not suffice to arrest an accused and extradite him to UAE.”
The Judge added that there definitely had to be a request for extradition in writing dispatched through diplomatic channels and an International Arrest Warrant issued by the Government of Dubai by itself would not be sufficient to apprehend the Sreejith and extradite him to UAE.
Read the Order: