B’desh okays easier extradition with India

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Dhaka, Jul 18 : Bangladesh Cabinet today approved a proposed amendment to an existing extradition treaty with India, easing legal formalities to repatriate wanted criminals in their respective countries.
“The amendment would ease the extradition process… It would just require a warrant to be issued by any Court or tribunal of either of the countries which seek to get a suspect back home,” Cabinet Secretary Shafiul Alam told a media briefing after a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“If a Judge, magistrate or a tribunal in our country, or any other authority of this nature issues a warrant against a person who is Indian, then we can seek extradition.
“A person from Bangladesh, who has a warrant against him here, may be living in India. India in that case will hand him over to Bangladesh for trial. In the same way, we will hand over to India, if it wants, someone who has a warrant against him there,” said Alam.
Until now, he said the extradition procedure demanded evidence of wanted persons’ guilt along with the warrant to be returned to their own country.
The top bureaucrat of the Government said the proposed amendment was approved on a proposal by India which suggested the complicated provision of furnishing evidence of guilt should be dropped from the treaty signed three years ago.
The deal was inked on January 28, 2013 and came into effect 10 months later but the complexities barred it to be enforced in cases of two major subsequent cases when both the Governments preferred to repatriate two wanted criminals bypassing the treaty.
Bangladesh extradited Indian separatist ULFA leader Anup Chetia in November, 2015 after he had spent 18 years in incarceration in the country while around the same time, India returned a wanted mastermind of seven synchronised murders at home, Nur Hossain, who was detained in a West Bengal prison. In neither of the cases, the treaty was enforced.
The landmark treaty was aimed at deporting wanted “criminals” hiding or lodged in jails in each other’s country to evade criminal charges and only persons with charges like murders, culpable homicide and other serious offences would come under the purview of the deal.
But officials earlier said offenders of petty crimes awarded with imprisonment of less than a year would not be wanted under the treaty while persons accused in political crimes would also not come under its purview.
During the signing of the agreement, they said the treaty would benefit Dhaka more as the number of convicted or suspected Bangladeshi criminals hiding or staying in India was more than that of Indian criminals lodged in jails or hiding in Bangladesh.

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