Extradition In Relation With Criminal Law In India


Extradition is a procedure by which one government authority formally turning over an alleged criminal to another governmental authority for prosecution for a criminal charge. As per the definition given by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, Extradition is the conveyance on the part of one State to another state of those whom it is anticipated to deal with for crimes of which they have been accused or convicted and are justifiable in the Courts of the other State. An Extradition appeal for an accused can be introduced in the case of under-investigation, under-trial, and convicted criminals. In cases under investigation, abundant precautions must be exercised by the law enforcement agency to ensure that it is in possession of prima facie evidence to sustain the allegation before the Courts of Law in the Foreign State.


Extradition from British India

Extradition means the surrender of a fugitive offender by one State to another in which the offender is liable to be punished or has been convicted. The law of extradition is constructed on the extensive principle that it is in the favor of all nations that crimes recognized as such by the civilized world should not go without punishment. The law applicable for the extradition was “The Indian Extradition Act, 1903” which deals with the surrender of fugitive criminals to States outside the British Empire. The Fugitive Offenders Act, 1881 deals with the surrender of fugitive offenders as between British possessions.

Jurisdiction of Criminal Courts for The Offence Committed Beyond the Limit of British India

Under section 188 of the Code of Criminal Procedure renders British subjects and servants of Crown liable to be tried in British India for offenses committed beyond the limits of British India in certain cases. When the act has been committed in British territory the nationality of the offender does not, of itself, prevent him from being subject to the law of India and the jurisdiction of its courts, and the locality of the act is comparatively unimportant. But when the act has been committed beyond the limits of British India, it is necessary to ascertain whether the accused is or is not, (1) A Native Indian subject of His Majesty, or (2) A British subject, or (3) A servant of the Crown. The locality of the act differs in importance rendering as the accused falls under one of the following categories.


The Extradition Act of 1962 provides India’s legislative basis for extradition. To consolidate and modify the law concerning the extradition of fugitive criminals and to provide for substances connected therewith, or related thereto, the Extradition Act of 1962 was enacted. It consolidated the law relating to the extradition of a criminal fugitive from India to foreign states. The Indian Extradition Act of 1962 was significantly modified in 1993 by Act 66 of 1993.

International and cross-border crimes pose a unique challenge regarding detection, arrest, extradition, and trial. With the syndicated crimes including crimes by terrorist and drug cartels as well as individual criminal offenses on the rise, it has become increasingly important for every country to define its rights and obligations in combating international crime and to lay down the due process of law in seeking arrest, interrogation, surrender, and transfer of suspected individuals and eventual trial and conviction. Towards this goal, most countries have adopted an extensive extradition framework.


  1. The extradition process is put in motion by the receipt of information/requisition regarding fugitive criminals wanted in foreign countries. The basis of information may be openly from the diplomatic channel of the disturbed country, General Secretariat of ICPO/Interpol in the form of red notices or other recognized modes of communication.
  2. After the requisition/information is received, a magistrate is asked to carry forward the inquiry in that case.
  3. After a detailed inquiry, the magistrate shall issue a warrant of arrest against the fugitive.
  4. A formal request by one sovereign nation to another sovereign nation is made based on the warrant.
  5. If the accused person is found guilty in the country where the request for the same has been made, the accused may be arrested.
  6. The country that arrests the accused may subject him/her to the extradition process where he/she may be deported to the country who has made the request.
  7. It is to be taken into consideration that the accused is subjected to the laws of the nation in which he/she is found.


Extradition treaty defined under section 2(d) of the Extradition Act, 1962 as a Treaty, Agreement or Arrangement made by India with a Foreign State, relating to the Extradition of fugitive criminals and included treaty, agreement or arrangement concerning to the Extradition of fugitive criminals accomplished before the 15th day of August 1947, which feasts to and is mandatory on, India. Extradition treaties are traditionally bilateral in character. Currently, India has signed 42 extradition treaties with countries all over the world to affluence the process of extradition. Some of the countries are Australia, Brazil, the UK, the USA, etc. Also, India has 9 extradition arrangements with countries such as Sweden, Singapore, Italy, etc.


The purpose of extradition is to stop crimes and to penalize the criminals who have fugitives from their punishment and began to reside in any other country. As we know it would be easier for the country to punish the offender where he had committed the offense and it would be easy to gather evidence against him for that particular offense even if the country is unable to punish him due to technicalities of law or lack of jurisdiction then he can be taken back to home country through the process of extradition. Thus, the object of the process of extradition is to prevent and reduce crimes in the international field.

Thus the position of extradition is to stop crimes and penalize criminals as it is the interest of all countries to penalize the criminals and stop the crimes because the country in which a person of criminal character dwells, it is in the interest of such country to certify extradition of such a person but it also be contingent on a bilateral treaty and upon the principle of reciprocity but where there is no treaty or agreement then the country can request the other country where the offender is residing to extradite the fugitive or criminal and it is in the interest of safety and law and order of such country to extradite the accused.


There are several sections of Cr. P. C., 1972 which talks about the procedure to be followed in the extradition of a fugitive from a foreign country or for sending a criminal involved in a crime in a foreign country to that country.

Below mentioned sections of the code deal with the process of extradition:

Section 41 – When police may arrest without warrant. The notice must be sent to address, calling person first and getting is signed at the Police Station appears the opposite of what notice is supposed to attain. This section gives the police the power to arrest a person without a warrant if such an individual is involved in an act done outside India which would be punishable as an offence in India.

Section 166A – The letter of request to a capable authority for investigation in a country or place outside India. The court issuing the letter of request must follow the rules as specified by the Central Government in this behalf.

Section 166B – The letter of request from a country or place outside India to a court or an authority for investigation in India. The Central Government can accept or reject the request based upon the extradition treaty that India has with that country requesting for an investigation.

Section 188 – Offences committed outside India. when an offence is committed by a person outside India, whether on the high seas or elsewhere, or on any ship or aircraft registered in India, he may be dealt with regard to such offence as if it had been committed at a place within India at which he may be found. A person who commits a crime outside India but later found in India, may not fall within the purview of Section 188 of the Code.


Extradition in India is governed by the Extradition Act, 1962 which lays down the procedure for extradition. Countries for the purpose of extradition need to enter into an agreement which is called treaty that will govern the extradition process. One of the most controversial issues relating to extradition is the exception for most political offenses, a standard clause in most extradition laws and treaties that provides the requested state with the right to trash extradition for political crimes.









This Article is Authored by Nikita Kumari, Fourth-Year, B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) student at Galgotias University.

Also Read – Global Extradition Crisis – Hong Kong’s Fugitive Extradition Bill

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