UK court approves India's request for extradition of Sanjay Bhandari

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A magisterial court in the United Kingdom has approved the request for extradition of middleman Sanjay Bhandari to India in connection with charges of money laundering and tax evasion on November 7, 2022.

Important facts

  • Indian authorities had made two requests for the extradition of 60-year-old Bhandari. The first request was related to money laundering, while the second was related to tax evasion.

  • District Judge Michael Snow heard the case earlier this year at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London.

  • He said in his decision that there was no stay on Bhandari's extradition and decided to refer the matter to British Home Minister Suella Braverman, who is authorised to order extradition based on a court decision.

  • The court passed order on the basis of the assurance of the Government of India that Bhandari would be kept in a separate cell in Tihar Jail in New Delhi along with the concerned health facilities during the trial.

  • Bhandari is accused of concealing foreign assets, using old documents, profiting from assets not declared to the Indian tax authorities and falsely informing the authorities that he does not have any assets.

What is Extradition?

  • Extradition is the formal process of surrendering a person from one state to another.

  • The purpose of this process is the prosecution or punishment for offences committed by a person within the jurisdiction of the requesting country.

  • The extradition of a fugitive criminal to India is regulated under the Indian Extradition Act, 1962.

  • The Consular, Passport and Visa (CPV) Division, Ministry of External Affairs is the central/nodal authority to administer the Extradition Act.

  • Extradition process can be initiated in case of under-investigation, under-trial and convicted criminals.

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