UK Court Begins Proceedings to Extradite Two Indians
The Westminster Magistrates Court has started proceedings for extradition of Lokendra Sharma, who was arrested in a case of domestic violence, and Kishan Singh, who faces drug-related charges.
The Westminster Magistrates Court in United Kingdom has started proceedings for extradition of two Indian men, who were arrested in August this year in two different cases.
An Indian national named Lokendra Sharma was arrested on Aug.15 in a case of domestic violence, while the second person is Kishan Singh, who was arrested on Aug.23 on drug related charges, the Hindustan Times reported, citing a spokesperson of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
Both the persons were given bail at their preliminary hearings, the report added.
“Kishan Singh had his first appearance at court on August 23, when he was released on bail. He is due to return to court on September 21 for a case management hearing,” the publication quoted the spokesperson as saying. “On Lokendra Sharma, there have been two hearings. The first was on August 15 (and) the next hearing date is a case management hearing on December 18. The extradition hearing date is to be confirmed.”
The beginning of the proceedings of the extradition of these two men assumes significance, as India is currently pursuing the extradition of high-profile fugitive businessmen Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi, among others.
The verdict in case of Mallya’s extradition is scheduled for Dec.10. Last month, CBI submitted a 6-8 minute video before a court in London to counter his claims regarding poor and inhumane conditions in Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail, where he would be housed if he is brought back to India.
In Modi’s case, the procedure-related inquiries by British officers are underway. The Indian government had informed Rajya Sabha on Aug.2 that a request for his extradition has been sent to the UK government.
India and the United Kingdom signed an extradition treaty in 1993. Since 2002, India has requested extradition of 29 fugitives in the United Kingdom. However, only one extradition has taken place, the India Today had reported earlier. Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel, who was wanted in a 2002 riots case in Gujarat, was sent to India in October 2016.
The UK government has rejected India’s request to extradite nine of these fugitives.
The cases of many other fugitives are still pending before British authorities, which include names of alleged cricket bookie Sanjeev Chawla; Tiger Hanif, who is wanted in a Gujarat bombing case; and Lalit Modi, who faces charges of financial irregularities, among others.