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Guidelines for indian law enforcement agencies
For extradition of fugitives from abroad

(Note: This information brochure is intended to provide broad guidance regarding extradition procedures in India and should not be taken as authoritative legal advice)

What is Extradition?

Extradition is the surrender by one State to another of a person desired to be dealt with for crimes for which he has been accused or convicted and which are justifiable in the courts of the other States. Surrender of a person within the State to another State whether a citizen or an alien is a political act done in pursuance of a treaty or an arrangement ad hoc.

A Request for Extradition can be initiated against a fugitive criminal, who is formally accused of, charged with, or convicted of an extradition offence.

‘Fugitive Criminal’ means a person who is accused or convicted of an extradition offence within the jurisdiction of a foreign State and includes a person who, while in India, conspires, attempts to commit or incites or participates as an accomplice in the commission of an extradition offencein a foreign State.

Legislative Basis for Extradition in India

The Extradition Act 1962 provides India’s legislative basis for extradition. The Act consolidated the law relating to the extradition of fugitive criminals from India to foreign states. It was substantially amended by Act 66 of 1993. The Extradition Act 1962 is available at Extradition Act 1962.Extradition_Act_1962.pdf

"The Government of India has entered into bilateral Extradition Treaties with 42 countries to bring speed and efficiency to the process of extradition. Besides, India has entered into Extradition Arrangements with 9 more countries. A database of such treaties is available at http://www.mea.gov.in/leta.htm" India is also a party to regional extradition treaties such as the London Scheme (Commonwealth Scheme for the Rendition of Fugitive Offenders 1966), an arrangement less than treaty status which is non-binding at international law and does not impose legal obligations on participants unlike an Extradition Treaty. The legal basis for Extradition with States with whom India does not have an Extradition Treaty ("non-Treaty States) is provided by Section 3(4) of the Indian Extradition Act, 1962 which says that the Central Government may, by notified order, treat any convention to which India and a foreign state are parties, as an Extradition Treaty made by India with that foreign state providing for extradition in respect of the offences specified in that Convention. India is also a party to the 1997 International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings. This also provides a legal basis for Extradition in Terror Crimes.

In May 2011, the Indian Government ratified two UN Conventions - the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (UNCTOC) and its three protocols. Article 16 of UNCTOC can be used as a basis for extradition of fugitive criminals accused/convicted of offences that are classified as Organized Crimes. While ratifying the Convention, Government of India declared that "In pursuance of Article 16, paragraph 5(a) of the Convention, the Government of India shall apply the Convention as the legal basis for cooperation on extradition with other States Parties to the Convention. Indian Law Enforcement Agencies can seek to make use of the provisions of the convention accordingly. (The full text of UNCTOC is available at:

(http://www.unodc.org/documents/treaties/UNTOC/Publications/TOC Convention/TOCebook-e.pdf)

Countries with which India has Extradition Treaties/Arrangements

India can make an extradition request to any country. While India’s treaty partners have treaty obligations to consider India’s requests, in the absence of a treaty, it is a matter for the foreign country to consider, in accordance with its domestic laws and procedures, whether the country can agree to India’s extradition request on the basis of an assurance of reciprocity.Similarly, any country can make an extradition request to India.

Designated Central Authority in India for Extradition Matters

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Government of India, is the Central Authority for all incoming and outgoing requests for Extradition. CPV Division handles extradition matters in the Ministry of External Affairs.

Who can make an Extradition Request to a Foreign Country?

Requests for Extradition on behalf of the Republic of India can only be made by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, which formally submits the request for Extradition to the Requested State through diplomatic channels. Such requests are sent under the signature of theMinister of External Affairs.

Extradition requests are sent to the Ministry of External Affairs for consideration by:

1. The State Government under whose territorial jurisdiction the alleged offence took place;
2. The Court of Law by whom the fugitive criminal located abroad is wanted;
3. Ministry of Home Affairs in respect of cases put together by investigating agencies (e.g. CBI, NIA etc.)

Provisional Arrest Requests

In urgent cases, when it is believed that a fugitive criminal located in a particular jurisdiction may flee that jurisdiction, India may request provisional arrest of the fugitive, pending presentation of the formal extradition request.

A request for provisional arrest may be transmitted through diplomatic channels, through the CPV Division of the Ministry of External Affairs. The facilities of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) may also be used to transmit such a request, through the National Central Bureau of India, CBI, New Delhi.

Each extradition treaty specifies the documents required for a provisional arrest request and also specifies the means by which a provisional arrest request must be made. The Police/Law Enforcement Agency concerned in India, prepares the request for a provisional arrest and sends it to the MEA, for onward transmission to the foreign country concerned.

India can make a provisional arrest request to any country. While India’s treaty partners have treaty obligations to consider India’s requests, in the absence of a treaty, it is a matter for the foreign country, in accordance with its domestic laws, to determine whether to arrest the person according to the India’s provisional arrest request.

Broadly, the following documents are required to be included in a provisional arrest request to be sent to a foreign country:

1. a statement justifying why the request is urgent;

2. a physical description of the person, including his/her nationality, his/her photograph and his/her fingerprints, if available, a list of the offences for which the person’s arrest is sought;

3. the location of the person sought, if known;

4. a brief statement of the facts of the case, including, if possible, the time and location of the offence;

5. a brief description of the offences committed by the fugitive and availability of prima facie evidence against him;

A prima facie case "means at first blush or at first sight, a complete case against the accused. In order to prove a prima facie case, there must be evidence, direct or circumstantial, on each element." Establishing a prima facie case would essentially require:

1. a copy of the legal provision(s) setting out the offence(s) and the penalty for the offence(s);

2. a statement of the existence of a warrant of arrest or a finding of guilt or judgment of conviction against the person sought; a copy of the warrant issued by the Court of law in India for the person’s arrest may have to be enclosed; and

3. a statement that if the person is provisionally arrested, India will seek the person’s extradition within the period required by that country’s law.

Extradition Offences

Extradition offence means:

1. in relation to a foreign State, being a Treaty State, an offence provided for in the extradition treaty with that State;

2. in relation to a foreign State other than a Treaty State, an offence punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one year under the laws of India or of a foreign State, and includes a composite offence. (Section 2(c) of Extradition Act, 1962)

Procedure for Extradition of a Fugitive Criminal
(from a Foreign Country to India)


Documents to be attached with a Formal Extradition Request:

A sworn self-contained affidavit or solemn declaration by a Senior Officer in-charge of the case (not below the rank of Superintendent of Police of the concerned investigating agency), sworn before a Judicial Magistrate of the Court by which the accused is wanted for prosecution, should be the main document in support of the extradition request. This should be in the form of a detailed narrative that provides an overview of the case and the allegations, with due cross referencing of the evidence and the identity documents, to establish prima facie culpability of the fugitive in the eyes of a foreign judge. Care should be taken to avoid the use of abbreviations, acronyms or terms that would be obvious to an Indian reader, but not to a foreign reader.

Note: In cases where the court concerned is requesting extradition, the request should be prepared in first person, i.e. by the Hon’ble Magistrate/Judge himself/herself. Requests written in third person, received from court officials, cannot be processed by the Ministry of External Affairs since such requests are not accepted by the requested countries.

1. A template of such an affidavit is provided by IS-II Division, Ministry of Home Affairs (Necessary changes, depending on the context, may be carried out in the template if the court concerned makes the request).

2. Right at the outset, the affidavit should indicate the basis/capacity in which the affidavit is executed.

3. The affidavit should contain:

I. Brief facts, background, circumstances and history of the case, referring at the appropriate places the statements of witnesses and other documentary evidence.

II. Nationality, identity and address of the accused along with description of accused establishing his identity as the same person who has committed the crime and who is wanted for trial.

III. The provision of the law invoked so that a clear prima facie case is made out against the accused. Emphasis should be on the elements of criminality rather than on the circumstances of the crime.

IV. The relation of the offence in respect of the law of the requested country to establish dual criminality.

V. The offences for which the accused is charged in India.

VI. That the law in question was in force at the time of commission of offences and it is still in force, including the penalty provisions.

VII. An undertaking to the effect that death penalty will not be sought or imposed or if imposed, will not be carried out (only if the offence carries a death sentence and the Extradition Treaty with requested country does not allow death penalty)

VIII. An assurance that, if the accused is extradited to India, he would be tried in India only for those offences for which extradition is sought (Rule of speciality).

IX. A specific confirmation that the offences are not barred by the period of limitation

X. An assurance that the person wanted will not be re-extradited to a third state.

XI. An assurance on compliance with international treaties on human rights, to which India is a party.

XII. References to documents and information that would establish the offences for which extradition is sought, together with a detailed written narrative setting out the acts or omissions which are alleged against the accused in respect of each offence for which his extradition is sought.

The following documents are required to be enclosed as part of the dossier:

1. A Certificate of Evidence should be enclosed.

2. A letter/order from the court concerned, justifying the accused person’s committal for trial on the basis of evidence made available in the charge sheet, with a direction seeking the presence of the accused in court to stand trial in the court concerned;

3. Copy of First Information Report (FIR), duly countersigned by the competent judicial authority;

4. Copy of the charge sheet, duly countersigned by the competent judicial authority;

5. Warrant of arrest, in original. The warrant of arrest should be open dated, indicating clearly only those offences for which the accused is charged and the court has taken cognizance of, with relevant section(s) thereof;

6. Documents in support of nationality, identity, address of the accused. The evidence/documents enclosed for this purpose must establish that the individual is the person who has committed the crime and is the same person who is wanted for trial;

7. In case the photograph and/or finger print of the accused are attached as a document, it should be identified through a separate affidavit. If more than one such evidence is attached, each one is required to be identified separately, in the same or an additional affidavit;

8. If any CD/electronic records like telephonic conversations, media files etc. are enclosed as documentary evidence, authorised transcripts of the contents from a competent authority must be enclosed;

9. If local/indigenous weapon(s) used in the crime viz. Kripan, gupti, rampuri, etc. are mentioned, they should be amply described and explained through a separate affidavit for proper understanding of the requested country and to avoid confusion of the concerned authority of the requested country;

10. Copy of the relevant provisions under which the accused is charged, along with the extracts of the relevant laws indicating the maximum sentence prescribed for the offence for which the accused is charged or convicted;

11. Copy of the relevant provisions in support of the confirmation that the offences are not barred by the period of limitation;

12. Each page of the dossier should be countersigned by the competent judicial authority along with stamp. (The stamp should be clear as well as legible, without any smudging.)

The dossier:

1. All the information and documents mentioned above constitute the dossier;

2. If the extradition request is made to a country where English is not the official first language, the whole dossier should be accompanied by a certified translation in that country’s official first language, the correctness of which is to be certified by the translating authority;

3. Translated copy, if any, should constitute part of the dossier and should not be enclosed separately; and

4. An index at the beginning of the dossier should mention the documents with corresponding page number.

Special Remarks relating to Extradition Requests for Crimes covered by Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code and other Dowry-related Offences

Some of the countries with which India has extradition treaties in force, have declined extradition requests for fugitive criminals charged with offences under Section 498-A on the plea that conduct categorized as offence under Section 498-A (which involves meting out harassment to a woman, where such harassment is with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand), on the plea that such offence has no equivalent in their jurisprudence, thereby failing the dual criminality requirement, an essential ingredient in bilateral extradition treaties.

If, however, the specific underlying activities of the offence in question constitute activities that are criminal offences under the law of the foreign country concerned, it is possible that the qualifications of dual criminality would be met. Therefore, among potential offences that could be considered extraditable are assault, murder, and fraud showing criminal intent. Charges relating to such offences should be specifically brought against the accused by the concerned law enforcement agencies and charged under the appropriate provisions of the Indian Penal Code. The request should not seek extradition based primarily on violation of Section 498-A. The request would also have to fully describe evidence showing the commission of specific activities perpetrated by the offender that led to charges under the Indian Penal Code.

Formatting Requirements for an Extradition Request

1. The request should be in a form befitting presentation to a foreign Government on behalf of the Government of India.

2. A4 size white paper should only be used for the covering letter.

3. All pages should be printed on one side of the paper only (not back-to-back).

4. The documents should be clearly typed/written and legible.

5. All the signatures have to be affixed with a stamp and the stamp should be clear as well as legible, without any smudging.

6. Care may be taken to avoid over-writing and corrections. If they cannot be avoided, the deponent should initial against each of such over-writings and corrections and affix his/her stamp.

7. Original documents in Indian languages should be accompanied by a certified English translation, the correctness of which is to be certified by a senior officer.

8. All the pages of the dossier should be numbered;

9. An index at the beginning of the dossier should properly reference each document in the dossier, with corresponding page numbers;

10. Each page of the dossier should be countersigned by the deponent along with stamp. The stamp should be clear as well as legible without any smudging;

11. The contents of the dossier should properly bound, preferably with a separate synthetic cover so that the contents remain protected even during transportation & storage;

12. The Original completed dossier, along with three identical photocopies of the original dossier should be enclosed with the covering letter. The copies are to be prepared after signatures and affixing the stamps. No original signature or stamp should be affixed on the photocopy.

13. The covering letter of the extradition request should:

I. Be from a Senior Officer (not below the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of India or Secretary to the State Govt. or equivalent);

II. Contain a note indicating correctness of the request and contents of the dossier;

III. Be accompanied by the completed checklist, containing the requirements indicated as part of these guidelines.

IV. Specifically confirm that the dossier has been prepared in accordance with the guidelines and as per the enclosed checklist.

V. Be addressed to Joint Secretary (CPV Division), Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi, accompanied by one original and 3 (three) identical photocopies of the dossier.

VI. A soft copy, in advance, may be forwarded to JS (CPV), JS (IS-II) MHA, and NCB- INDIA (CBI/IPCU)

Repatriation of the Fugitive approved for Extradition

Once the foreign country concerned approves the extradition of the fugitive, an escorting team is to be nominated by the law enforcement agency concerned. The following aspects may be kept in mind for ensuring that the process is smoothly managed:

1. An adequately strong escort team competent to handle any kind of eventuality during the transportation of the fugitive;

2. Necessary clearances/Sanction of the Ministries concerned and the State Government of the requesting law enforcement agency for the travel of the Escort Team and the fugitive has to be obtained (State Government, MEA Political Clearance);

3. Passport and Visa of the Officers/Officials of the Escort Team may be obtained sufficiently in advance after obtaining the Political clearance;

4. Attention should be paid to the details in Circular No.42/2005 issued by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, Ministry of Civil Aviation, regarding carriage of prisoners;

5. As per the treaty provisions and general practice, the requesting country i.e. Law Enforcement Agency concerned, has to bear the cost of the transportation of the fugitive. Hence air tickets of the fugitive are required to be purchased accordingly.

6. The Embassy/High Commission of India in the foreign country concerned, is to be requested for arranging emergency travel documents of the fugitive in case the travel documents possessed by the fugitive is presumed not to be genuine.

7. Where transit and change of flight is involved, all the Airlines concerned need to be fully intimated well in advance about the sensitivity attached with the travelling of Escort Team to bring back the fugitive, to prevent any kind of unwarranted situation. Travel itinerary of the Escort Team with the names, designations, passport details, visa and air tickets to be provided to NCB-India to send the same to the Indian Mission concerned and the NCB of the foreign country concerned.

(January 2016)

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