Extradition treaty between India, Belgium approved

Cabinet nod to extradition treaty between India and Belgium

 Union Ministers Prakash Javadekar (R) and Ravi Shankar Prasad during a press conference after the cabinet meeting, in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

The Union Cabinet has approved the signing and ratification of an extradition treaty between India and Belgium that will enable the two countries to repatriate from each other any person who is accused of or convicted in an extraditable offence.

The decision was taken by the Union Cabinet on Friday and announced Saturday.

An extraditable offence means an offence punishable under the laws of both the countries with imprisonment for a period of one year or more.

Under the treaty, extradition shall be refused if the offence involved is political in nature. However, the treaty specifies certain offences which will not be considered as political offences, an official statement said.

The treaty would provide a legal framework for seeking the extradition of terrorists, economic offenders, and other criminals from and to Belgium. After ratification, the treaty will enter into force from the date of exchange of instruments of ratification between India and Belgium.

The new extradition treaty will replace the pre-independence extradition treaty between Great Britain and Belgium of 1901 that was made applicable to India through the exchange of letters in 1958 and is currently in force.

"Due to the present procedural requirements and the fact that only a limited number of offences are listed under the pre-Independence Treaty, the same has become obsolete in today's context," an official statement said.

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