PRIME Minister Modi urged to ratify UN Torture Convention to facilitate extradition of Mallya and other financial and terror fugitives

ASIAN Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi for immediate Cabinet approval of the Prevention of Torture Bill of 2017 drafted by the Law Commission of India and the ratification of the UN Convention Against Torture (UNCAT) before the next hearing on the extradition of Vijay Mallya on 12th September 2018 to facilitate fast-track extradition of economic fugitives and terror accused especially from the European Union countries.

During the hearing on 31st July 2018, the Court asked the Indian authorities to submit within three weeks a video of a cell at the Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai where they plan to keep Vijay Mallya post-extradition.
If India does not ratify the UNCAT before 12th September 2018, it is most likely that the UK courts will reject extradition of Vijay Mallya like Sanjiv Chawla, an alleged cricket bookie, whose extradition has been rejected on the ground that there are fears that Chawla would be subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in the Tihar prison complex, due to the overcrowding, lack of medical provision, risk of being subjected to torture and violence either from other inmates or prison staff which is endemic in Tihar.” – stated Asian Centre for Human Rights. On the ground of non-ratification of the UNCAT and danger of being subjected to torture, India’s extradition requests for Kim Davy, an accused in Purulia arms dropping case , has been rejected by the Denmark High Court.

All the European countries and increasingly a number of Member States of the United Nations that ratified the United Nations Convention Against Torture (UNCAT) cannot expel, repatriate or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that s/he would be in danger of being subjected to torture. The governments in these countries cannot interfere in the sub-judice matters.If India ratifies the UNCAT, it effectively and legally commits that there will be no danger of being subjected to torture and legal remedies do exist in the country. Pursuant to the directions of the Supreme Court, the Law Commission of India submitted the draft Prevention of Torture Bill of 2017 on 30 October 2017 to the Law Minister of India and on 27 November 2017, the Attorney General submitted that the Government of India is seriously considering the Prevention of Torture Bill of 2017.If India ratifies the UNCAT before 12 September 2018 and approves the Prevention of Torture Bill of 2017 for enacting into a law and the same is placed before the Courts in the United Kingdom, India shall virtually overturn legal defence of Vijay Mallya and others pertaining to non-refoulement because of torture.

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