The Government of the Tonk State and a case of an extradition treaty

Extradition Treaty between the Tonk State and the British Government in 1869 is not capable of being given effect to in the present day in view of the merger of the Tonk State in the United State of Rajasthan. As no treaty rights exist, S. 18. Extradition Act, has no application and as S. 7 of the Act has been complied with there is no ground upon which we can interfere.

Tonk having acceded to the Dominion on 16th August 1947, the standstill agreement relied on by the appellant must be taken to have lapsed as from that date Secondly, the treaty was no longer subsisting and its execution because impossible, as the Tonk State ceased to exist politically and such sovereignty as it possessed was extinguished, when it covenanted with certain other States with the concurrence of the Indian Government, “to unite and integrate their territories in one State, with a common executive, legislature and judiciary, by the name of the United State of Rajasthan,” the last of such covenants which superseded the earlier ones, having been entered into on 30th March 1949. Lastly, even assuming that the treaty was still in operation as a binding executory contract, its provisions were in no way derogated from by the application of S. 7 of the Act to the present case and the extradition warrant issued under that section and the arrest made in pursuance thereof were legal and valid and could not be called in question under S. 491. Criminal P. C.

The question accordingly arises whether extradition under S.7 for an offence which is not extraditable under the treaty is, in any sense, a derogation from the provisions of the treaty, which provides for the extradition of offenders for certain specified offences therein called ‘‘heinous offences,” committed in the respective territories of the high contracting parties. Under Art. 1 the Government of the Tonk State undertakes to extradite any person, whether a British or a foreign subject, who commits a heinous offence in British territory. A reciprocal obligation is cast by Art. 2 on the British Government to extradite a subject of Tonk committing such an offence within the limits of that State Article 3 provides inter alia, that any person other than a Tonk subject committing a heinous offence within the limits of the Tonk State and seeking asylum in British territory shall be apprehended and the case investigated by such Court as the British Government may direct Article 4 prescribes the procedure to be adopted and the conditions to be fulfilled before extradition could be had, and Art. 5 enumerates the offences which are “to be deemed as coming within the category of heinous offences” which, however, do not include the offences charged against the appellant.


Categories: Criminal

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