As India pursues its efforts to get Zakir Naik extradited from Malaysia, here is a look at the extradition numbers.
Couple of days ago, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) asserted that it would continue its efforts to pursue Malaysia with regards to the extradition request of Dr. Zakir Naik. The official spokesperson of MEA stated that Government of India has made a formal request and would be pursuing it. This comes in wake of Malaysia PM’s statement that his country has the right not to extradite Dr.Zakir Naik.
India has an extradition treaty with Malaysia, signed in the year 2010. So far, there have been no instances of anyone being extradited to India by Malaysia.
India has extradition treaties with 42 other countries
As per the data on MEA website, India currently has extradition treaties with 43 countries. The list of these countries is given below.
|6||Belgium||28||Republic of Korea|
In addition, India also has extradition arrangements with 10 other countries – Antigua & Barbuda, Croatia, Fiji, Italy, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Sweden and Tanzania.
What is the process to be followed for Extradition ?
An extradition request can be raised against any fugitive criminal who is formally accused of , charged or convicted of any extradition offence. The requests are raised by the concerned law enforcement agencies in India, which are then taken up by MEA with the respective countries.
There are certain guidelines specified by MEA, which need to be followed while raising any such requests. Further, it needs to be noted that the specifications of each extradition request would differ based on the treaty/arrangement that is signed with the respective countries.
What about the extradition treaty signed with Malaysia?
India and Malaysia have signed an extradition treaty on 20th January, 2010.
As per this treaty, any punishable offence under the laws of the two states – whether committed, attempted or planned , would be considered as an extradition offence. Any offence of purely fiscal nature is also considered as an extradition offence as per the treaty. The treaty also specifies that in case there is a difference in law regarding the treatment of a particular offence, then the case presented by the requesting party would be considered.
As for the case against Dr.Zakir Naik, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed charges for laundering money to the tune of Rs. 193 crores. Indian authorities have also charged him with spreading hate crime and abetting terrorism. As per newspaper reports, Malaysia has granted Permanent Resident (PR) status to Dr.Zakir Naik. This was confirmed by Malaysian authorities in the year 2017.
It has to be noted that while the requesting party can raise an extradition request, citing the reasons for the same, the requested party has the option not to surrender the fugitive under certain conditions. The treaty between India & Malaysia clearly lays down these conditions.
UAE is the country with most extraditions to India and Murder is the most common offence of these fugitives
Extraditions do take a long time, right from the point of raising a formal request to that of successfully getting the fugitive extradited. While, the fate of extradition request for Zakir Naik is yet unclear, India had 73 fugitives extradited since 2002, as per the latest data (as of January 2019) on the MEA website. However, as per the answer provided in the Rajya Sabha by MEA, in April’2018, there are 150 pending requests for extradition.
Analysis of the available data indicates that UAE has extradited most people (23) to India, followed by USA which has extradited 10 fugitives back to India.
In terms of offences by these fugitives, Murder, Criminal conspiracy and Terrorism top the list of offenses committed by the extradited fugitives.