On Wednesday, the Government said that eleven fugitive criminals including Christen Michel, British middlemen accused of handling and routing over 60 million euros for kickbacks in the deal for AgustaWestland helicopters, have been brought back to India in the past three years.
In a written response to a question in the Lower House of the Parliament, Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh said that the incumbent government has been making every effort to bring back fugitive criminals who have fled the country after committing the crime.
VK Singh said, “In the last three years, 11 fugitive criminals from various foreign countries, including the recent extradition of Christian Michel from UAE, were successfully brought back to India.” He further added that as of now, India has signed extradition treaties with around 50 countries and entered into extradition arrangements with 10 more countries, reports PTI.
Extradition is the act by one nation’s jurisdiction of delivering a person who has been accused of committing a crime in another nation’s jurisdiction or has been convicted of a crime in that other jurisdiction, into the custody of a law enforcement agency of that nation where he committed the crime.
A Request for Extradition can be initiated against a fugitive criminal, who is formally accused of, charged with, or convicted of an extradition offense. ‘Fugitive Criminal’ means a person who is accused or convicted of an extradition offense 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 offense in a foreign state.
It is the policy of the Government of India to initiate Extradition treaties with as many countries as possible in order to ensure that the fugitive criminals are brought to book.
The Indian authorities have successfully secured extradition and brought back AgustaWestland scam middleman Christian Michel. He was brought to India from Dubai. It is the first successful extradition ever since India has ushered in similar proceedings against economic offenders like Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, and Mehul Choksi. The News18 has quoted Finance Minister Arun Jaitley saying that the trio would follow Michel soon.
Recently, a court in the UK ordered Vijay Mallya’s extradition to India on Dec 9, 2018. This order came after a nine-month-long trial which ended in September. Mallya had been arrested on an extradition warrant in April 2017. However, he has been on bail ever since his arrest. India has been seeking his extradition on allegations of fraud to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley welcomed this order and also took a dig at the Congress. Jaitley tweeted, “Great Day for India. No one who cheats India will go scot free. The Judgement of UK’s Court is welcome. An offender benefited during the UPA. The NDA brings him to book.”
On his visit to the United Kingdom, PM Modi negotiated the extradition proceedings of Vijay Mallya with British Prime Minister Theresa May. Vijay Mallya is a British Citizen so bringing him to India was tricky and required immense political resolve. The incumbent Modi government is serious about bringing the fugitives criminals to book, and it is clearly evident from their actions.