New Delhi: The Centre on Monday assured the Delhi High Court that it will not extradite to the US till November 10 an Indian Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl there during his stay in 2004.
The submission made before Justice Pratibha Rani has come as a relief for Reverend Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul as he was scheduled to be extradited to the US today evening on an United Airlines flight.
Jeyapaul, 59, moved the court after his representation to the Centre challenging a trial court order recommending his extradition was rejected by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on October 30 and order to extradite him was issued on October 31.
The court listed the matter for further hearing on November 10, by when MEA will file its response to Jeyapaul's plea.
"Counsel for the respondent (Centre) has placed on record copy of the order dated October 30, 2014 vide which the representation of the petitioner (Jeyapaul) has been rejected and submits that the counter affidavit shall be filed during the course of the day with copy to the opposite counsel.
"Counsel for the respondent further assures that since counter affidavit shall be filed today itself, the case may be listed for hearing by giving a short adjournment and in the meantime, the petitioner will not be extradited to United States of America," Justice Pratibha Rani noted in her order.
The court also directed the Centre and the petitioner to file brief written synopsis along with relevant case law, if any, before the next date.
Advocate Mohit Mathur appeared for Jeyapaul, while advocates Ajay Digpaul and T P Singh argued for the Centre.
Earlier, the high court on September 16 had dismissed as "premature" Jeyapaul's plea challenging the trial court's recommendation after the MEA submitted that the government has not passed any order for extraditing him to the US.
Jeyapaul was arrested on March 16, 2012 at Chimitahalli near Sathyamangalam in Erode district of Tamil Nadu and has since been lodged in Tihar jail.