Delhi HC junks Indian origin fugitive rape accused s plea against extradition

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New Delhi, April 9

Terming the move as "premature", the Delhi High Court has turned down a plea filed by an absconding Indian-origin Portuguese citizen, who is accused in a rape case in London in 2017.

Petitioner Jose Inacio Cota had approached the court challenging the extradition proceedings against him.

In the recently-passed order, Justice Asha Menon said: "It is clear from the submission made by counsel for the petitioner, that the pleas taken here are precisely those which can be raised before the court dealing with extradition proceedings.

"It will be most inappropriate for this court, at this stage, to comment on these aspects, in a manner pre-empting the Extraditing Court from applying its mind independently. That could be prejudicial to either or both sides."

Earlier, the petitioner's counsel had argued that there is a treaty between India and the UK, saying that the UK is bound to provide all the documents and evidence — physical and electronic — collected during the investigation against a person of Indian origin. This will include medical evidence, forensic evidence, CCTV footage, the audio recording of the interviews taken by the UK police, details of calls made to the UK police, formal police complaints, and a record of seizure of articles.

However, counsel, appearing for the Centre, objected to the plea on the ground that the petitioner is not appearing in extradition proceedings before the lower court.

It was pointed out that the petitioner is wanted in a rape case registered against him in London on May 28, 2017, and his extradition request has been filed by the UK authorities to face trial in the matter.

The petition stated that the petitioner has been vexatiously roped into a false case in the UK, which is racially motivated and thus discriminatory and prejudicial toward the petitioner.
 

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