Why do all frauds seek refuge in the United Kingdom
Nirav Modi joined the long list of Indian fugitives to take refuge in the United Kingdom. He now joins an infamous bandwagon comprising, Lalit Modi, Vijay Mallya, music composer Nadeem among others.
Indian agencies agree that the UK has been a safe destination for frauds and criminals as the extradition process is extremely difficult. One of the key reasons cited by these persons while arguing against extraditions is that the jails in India cater to inhuman conditions.
Statistics would reveal that India's success rate when it comes to extraditions from the United Kingdom is nil. This would only mean that the Extradition Treaty that India and the UK signed in 1993 is nothing but a piece of paper.
The likes of Tiger Hanif who was wanted in blasts case At Gujarat, 1993 has not yet been extradited to India. He has exhausted all legal remedies in the UK to avoid extradition.
However he continues to make representations to the Home Secretary in the UK and is now planning on moving the European Court of Human Rights against his extradition.
India has not had a success rate where extraditions from the UK are concerned.
There are 131 extradition requests made by India pending with the UK. In almost all the cases, the accused persons have told the UK authorities that there is either a political vendetta against them or the chances of them being tortured by the Indian police is high.
Courts in the UK which are approached by such persons have not been entirely helpful either.
Even if the government is considering the extradition request, the courts normally come in the way. The courts in the UK often take a lenient view towards the accused petitioners who claim that they would be tortured. Further the courts also consider seriously when the petitioner alleges that cases had been slapped against him or her out of political vendetta.
While these contentions are all matters of debate, the courts often accept the view of the accused petitioner and cite lack of papers or evidence. Many accused have managed to escape extradition due to the intervention by the UK courts.
In the case of Lalit Modi, the government failed to have him extradited. The case was no different where Nadeem who was charged in the murder of Gulshan Kumar. he was later acquitted in that case. Over all there are 131 requests that are pending in the UK and today the government added one more to that list while seeking the extradition of Vijay Mallya.
Will Nirav Modi too dodge the extradition bullet? Only time will tell.