India, Indonesia not to exchange letters for extradition treaty

Jakarta, Nov 2: India and Indonesia on Monday decided not to undertake exchange of letters to put in place an extradition treaty after they agreed that the agreement is already in place since last year even as underworld don Chhota Rajan appears well on the way to being deported back home.

Briefing the reporters on the discussions and meetings Vice President Hamid Ansari had with the leadership here, Anil Wadhwa Secretary (East) in the External Affairs Ministry said it was felt by the two sides that there was no need to exchange letters as part of completing formalities.

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India, Indonesia not to exchange letters

When asked why the exchange of letters had not taken place, Wadhwa said: "This discussion did take place. But since both sides agreed that as long as they are concerned, the extradition treaty is already in force. There is no requirement for exchange of letters. Therefore we presume and act on the basis that the treaty is in force."

Asked whether the two countries may exchange the letters in future, Wadhwa said "there is no requirement for that." However, ahead of the visit, Wadhwa had said that India and Indonesia have to exchange letters ratifying the treaty for the extradition pact to come into force.

The exchange of letters was expected to take place during Ansari's visit that began yesterday. On Monday, the officials maintained that the treaty had come into force in December, 2014 itself as both sides had ratified it then.

There has been much interest about the status of India's extradition pact with Indonesia after the arrest of Rajan in Bali. But officials said Rajan's deportation was not going to be a problem irrespective of the existence or lack of an extradition arrangement between the two countries.

Asked about the efforts being made to bring Rajan to India, Wadhwa said a team from India is already working on the matter amidst reports that he may be deported from Indonesia soon.

Rajan was arrested in Bali last week on the basis of a Red Corner Notice from Interpol and following a tip-off by Australian authorities to the police in Indonesia.

Wadhwa said the Vice President also met Indonesian President Joko Widodo, to whom an invitation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi was extended. The Indonesian President may visit India next year, he added.


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