Sanjeev Chawla case: India submits assurance on Tihar jail conditions

Last month, the High Court stayed India’s appeal against Westminster Magistrates’ Court’s refusal to extradite Mr Chawla. The High Court requested details of the facilities available in Tahir jail, the jail where Mr Chawla would likely be imprisoned if he were to be extradited to India.

Mr Chawla’s extradition was requested in connection with his alleged role in match-fixing during South Africa’s tour of India in 2000. If he is extradited to India, and imprisoned in Tahir jail, the Home Ministry of India has explained that he will have access to his own toilet facilities and guaranteed medical treatment. The assurance also detailed the ways in which he will be protected from violence within the jail.
This is the third assurance given to the High Court by India in this case. It hopes to alleviate the concern of the High Court judges that Mr Chawla faces a real risk of his human rights being breached due to the conditions within Tahir jail. The previous two assurances were deemed ‘inadequate’ by the High Court.

It is not unusual for the UK courts to request assurances from India in relation to extradition cases. If Mr Chawla is successfully extradited to India, this will be the first contested extradition case from the UK to India to succeed since India and the UK entered an extradition treaty in 1992.

South Africa and UAE draft agreement to extradite Guptas

The Justice Ministry in South Africa is in talks with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to bring the Guptas back to South Africa. The Guptas are three brothers of Indian heritage who moved to South Africa from India in 1993. There, they set up their business empire under the parent company Sahara Group. They have since been closely linked to former President Zuma, and have been accused of money laundering, collusion, fraud, corruption and misappropriating funds including millions of dollars’ worth of public money which was intended to support poor farmers but was directly deposited into Atul Gupta’s personal bank account. In February, the South African authorities raided the businesses and properties belonging to the Guptas which prompted them to leave for UAE. The talks between South Africa and UAE are not aimed at establishing an extradition treaty between the countries, but at reaching a “mutual legal agreement” applicable solely to the Guptas. Both South Africa and UAE want to ensure that the Guptas can be returned to South Africa to face the criminal charges outlined above.