The Delhi High Court recently upheld the order of extradition of an NRI to the United States in a case alleging bank fraud conspiracy.
The Court was hearing a Petition filed by one Mr. Rajiv Chandrakant Shah, challenging an order of extradition passed against him by the Ministry of External Affairs, which had accepted the report of the enquiry Magistrate recommending his extradition.
He was accused of various offences, punishable with maximum imprisonment up to 30 years, committed between September 1998 and March 2000. Arrest warrants were issued by a US Court against him in 2000, followed by a Red Corner Notice (RCN). He was then apprehended at the Immigration Counter of IGI Airport in January 2002 on the basis of RCN.
Mr. Shah now submitted that the enquiry Magistrate had failed to take into account the fact that he was not charged for the offence of bank fraud, but for conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. He further pointed out that the charges against him were clubbed with those against his brother, and hence, the Magistrate wrongly ruled in favor of his extradition.
Justice Ashutosh Kumar, however, refused to interfere with the order, ruling, “Thus taking into account the aforesaid facts namely inquiry having been conducted in accordance with law and as mandated under Section 7 and the decision of the Central Government under Section 8, no interference is required either with respect to the inquiry report of the learned ACMM recommending the extradition of the petitioner or the decision of the Central Government in accepting such report.”
Nevertheless, the Court granted Mr. Shah four weeks time to avail appropriate remedies against extradition, in view of the fact that he had participated in the proceedings for about 15 years and has an ailing mother who is 82 years old.