Legal Correspondent

Plea to quash extradition to United Kingdom rejected

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday turned down the plea of Maninder Pal Singh Kohli, accused in the case of rape and murder of British teenager Hannah Foster, to quash the trial court’s order directing that he be extradited to the United Kingdom.

A Bench consisting of Justices G.P. Mathur and P.K. Balasubramanyan did not accept counsel’s submission that Kohli would not get a fair trial in the U.K. as there was a bias against Asian communities. Counsel also cited the case of Indian doctor Mohammed Haneef, facing terrorist charges in Australia. The Bench said Kohli’s case pertained to a heinous offence and he should face trial. When counsel said the extradition order was erroneous, the Bench said the accused could approach the Delhi High Court for a review of the order. Thereupon, counsel withdrew the special leave petition and it was dismissed as withdrawn.

According to the prosecution, Kohli raped and murdered the 16-year girl in Southampton in 2003 when he was a driver in a company and later fled the country. The Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate here permitted his extradition. On appeal, the High Court declined to interfere with the trial court’s order.

“No evidence”

In his petition to the Supreme Court, Kohli said there was no evidence against him in the alleged offence. He said his wife filed an affidavit before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate stating she was forced to give a statement to the British police against him.