#GS2 #International #Laws
The Supreme Court has refused a plea made by the lawyer of fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya to discharge him from the case and gave the Union government six weeks to file a status report on the progress made in extraditing him from the United Kingdom.
What is Extradition?
- Extradition is the legal process by which a person is transferred from one country to another without the person’s consent. Here, a governmental authority formally and legally turns over an alleged criminal to another government for the person to face prosecution for a crime. It is a judicial process, unlike deportation.
About Extradition Act 1962
- In India, the extradition of a fugitive criminal is governed under the Indian Extradition Act, 1962. This is for both extraditing of persons to India and from India to foreign countries. The basis of the extradition could be a treaty between India and another country. India has extradition treaties with 39 countries currently.
Fugitive Economic Offender Act, 2018
- The Act allows for a person to be declared as a fugitive economic offender (FEO) if: (i) an arrest warrant has been issued against him for any specified offences where the value involved is over Rs 100 crore, and (ii) he has left the country and refuses to return to face prosecution.
- To declare a person an FEO, an application will be filed in a Special Court (designated under the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002) containing details of the properties to be confiscated, and any information about the person’s whereabouts. The Special Court will require the person to appear at a specified place at least six weeks from issue of notice. Proceedings will be terminated if the person appears.
- The Act allows authorities to provisionally attach properties of an accused, while the application is pending before the Special Court.
- Upon declaration as an FEO, properties of a person may be confiscated and vested in the central government, free of encumbrances (rights and claims in the property). Further, the FEO or any company associated with him may be barred from filing or defending civil claims.