The first ever successful extradition occurred between India and Britain on Tuesday since then Home Minister S B Chavan and his British counterpart Ken Clarke signed an extradition treaty on September 22, 1992. Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel, an accused in a 2002 Gujarat riots-related case was extradited recently and was taken to New Delhi on Tuesday by an Indian police team.
Forty-year-old Patel was successfully deported because he consented to being extradited, which cut down the otherwise tedious process. He was arrested on August 9. On September 22, Home Secretary Amber Rudd signed the extradition order. A team of Gujarat Police arrived in London last week to escort Patel to India.
Patel is to face trial in a case of rioting at Ode village in Anand district of Gujarat on March 1, 2002, in which 23 people were reportedly killed. Though he was arrested after the riots, Patel jumped bail and fled India and eventually found his way to the London suburb of Hounslow. He was then arrested by the Scotland Yard.
Patel's extradition however does not reflect a change of approach in London and Indian security agencies may continue to face hurdles in their attempts to secure extradition or deportation of individuals from Britain on various grounds.
Tiger Hanif, an aide of Dawood Ibrahim, who is wanted in India in connection with the 1993 blasts in Surat, has consistently opposed extradition. Hanif whose full name is Mohammed Umarji Patel, was arrested in Bolton, Greater Manchester, in March 2010.
Hanif's extradition seems likely as he may have lost all legal avenues to avoid it. An appeal by him to prevent extradition that claimed that he would be tortured in Indian jails was overruled by the Westminster Magistrates Court in May 2012, after the court sent a team to Gujarat to examine jail conditions and to assess the validity of Hanif's plea.
Hanif, made a final appeal to then home secretary Theresa May soon after the court judgement in May 2012 that is still being processed by the Home Office according to Hindustan Times. Their standard response without any update has been: "Further representations have been made to the Home Secretary in this case and they are currently being carefully considered."
Over the years, India's request for extradition and deportation from Britain, of individuals wanted under various crimes has not met with much success. Britiain hasn't entertained requests despite India having revoked the passports of individuals such as Lalit Modi and Vijay Mallya – allegedly involved in financial irregularities.
The list of individuals sought by India from Britain through extradition and deportation is said to be around 15. Some recent cases of individuals wanted for alleged offences in India are:
• Vijay Mallya (financial)
• Lalit Modi (financial)
• Ravi Shankaran (Indian Navy war room leak case)
• Tiger Hanif (1993 blasts in Gujarat)
• Nadeem Saifi (Gulshan Kumar murder case)
• Raymond Varley (UK citizen; child abuse cases in Goa)