In more than a decade since 2002, 60 fugitives were extradited or deported by foreign governments to India, as it received a major victory in its fight to bring the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks to justice when a US federal court agreed to the extradition of Pakistani-origin Canadian businessman Tahawwur Rana to the country.
US Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Chooljian of the US District Court of the Central District of California issued a 48-page order on May 17, saying Rana “should be extradited to India” under the extradition treaty between India and the United States.
“The court has reviewed and considered all of the documents submitted in support of and in opposition to the request, and has considered the arguments presented at the hearing. Based on such review and consideration and for the reasons discussed herein, the court makes the findings set forth below, and CERTIFIES to the Secretary of State of the United States the extraditability of Rana on the charged offences that are the subject of the request,” the order said.
According to information on the website of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), 60 fugitives were extradited or deported by foreign governments to India between February 2002 and December 2015. Of them, 11 were extradited from the US, 17 from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), four from Canada and four from Thailand.
Gangster Abu Salem, serving life imprisonment for his role in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, was extradited from Portugal in November 2005.
Iqbal Sheikh Kaskar, Izaz Pathan and Mustafa Ahmed Umar Dosa - all involved in the Mumbai bomb blasts - were extradited from the UAE in early 2003.
Fugitives have been extradited to India for offences including terrorism, organised crime, criminal conspiracy and cheating, sexual abuse of children, financial fraud, murder and waging war against the country.
The extradition treaty between the US government and the government of India was signed in Washington on June 25, 1997 under the administration of former president Bill Clinton and leadership of former Indian prime minister I K Gujral. The treaty was signed by then minister of state for external affairs Saleem Shervani and former US deputy secretary of state Strobe Talbott.
Under the treaty, the offence is extraditable if punishable under the laws in both contracting parties by imprisonments for more than one year or by a more severe penalty. This applies whether or not the laws in the contracting state place the offence within the same category of offences or describe the offence by the same terminology, whether or not the office is one for which US federal law requires the showing of such matters as interstate transportation, or use of the mails or of other facilities affecting interstate or foreign commerce, such matters being merely for the purpose of establishing jurisdiction in a US federal court, or whether or not it relates to taxation or revenue or is one of a purely fiscal character.