Delhi High Court Directs the State Not To Allow For an Expedited Surrender and Extradition of the Petitioner to Bulgaria Until the State Has Disposed Of All the Pending Cases

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CASE: MILEN IVANOV DAVRANSKI v. UNION OF INDIA

Excerpt

The Petitioner has filed the writ petition like mandamus, to take steps to extradite the Petitioner to Bulgaria. 

Issue before the court

Whether the court must allow the extradition of the Petitioner or not in light of the order of the ACMM?

Facts of the Case

The Government of Bulgaria requested the Ministry of Justice for the extradition of the Petitioner. Union of India requested the authority to enquire into the extradition request. The Magistrate recommended extradition after referring to the Extradition Laws and Treaties. Even though the old ACMM recommended extradition, the process of extradition was not given effect. Thus, the petitioner filed this petition to expedite his extradition.

Arguments before the Court

Appellant’s arguments

The counsel submitted that the magistrate inquired about section 5 of the Act. The magistrate, if satisfied, can discharge immediately under Section 24 of the Act. According to Article 11 of the Extradition Treaty, the Union of India has the discretion to permit the extradition even in a pending case.

Respondent arguments

The Respondent for the State presented that Section 31(1)(d) of the Act does not permit to discharge that petitioner or allow travel if any criminal proceedings are pending. He further referred to Section 227 of CrPC and stated that the Judge can consider discharging the accused under certain grounds. Thus, the mere grant of bail or permission to travel abroad is not enough to discharge and to permit extradition under Section 31(1)(d). The Respondent stated that the conditions of surrender under Section 31(1)(d) are mandatory in nature and are not optional. The judge provided the bail to the Petitioner but only to stay in the territorial jurisdiction of the State of Goa. 

Observation of the court

The Court relying on Articles 3 and 11 of the Treaty observed that the requested country can refuse to extradite the accused fugitive. Article 11(2) of the Treaty states that the State can postpone the surrender even after granting extradition until the criminal proceedings in India are complete or the sentence is complete, as referred to in Article 11(1). 

The Court while observing different statutes and treaties observed that if there has been accusations or conviction made, the State will have to postpone/ adjourn either the extradition proceedings or the surrender until the conviction of the accused, or if the criminal proceedings have resulted in a conclusion/ termination.

The trial for the said offences under the three FIRs is still going on. The Petitioner is not discharged off and the criminal proceedings against the Petitioner have not concluded.

Court’s Decision

The Court dismissed the Petition. The Court did not allow the request for an expedited surrender and extradition. The Court cannot allow if the status of the case remains pending under the three FIRs lodged against him in Goa, India. 

Click here to view the judgment.


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