New Delhi: The Delhi High Court was on Friday told that when a French woman, facing extradition to Chile for her alleged involvement in the assassination of a senator there, was arrested there was no valid treaty, convention or arrangement between India and the South American country.
The lawyers for Emanuelle Marie Verhoeven told a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath that in the absence of a valid treaty, convention or arrangement with Chile, the Extradition Act will not apply.
Senior advocate AS Chandhiok, appearing for Verhoeven, argued that since she was arrested on February 16, much before the treaty was ratified by the notification of April 28, therefore her arrest and detention on the basis of a red corner notice was illegal.
Citing Supreme Court judgements, Chandhiok argued that red corner notice was "not a substitute" for a warrant of arrest and its only purpose is to keep the person concerned under surveillance, especially in the absence of a treaty.
Regarding the 118-year-old treaty of 1897 between the British Empire and Chile, the counsel contended it was never extended to India by the UK.
The counsel also said that the treaty only dealt with offences like murder, manslaughter, rape, kidnapping, etc and did not talk of commission of terrorist acts, which is what Verhoeven has been accused of.
After hearing arguments made on behalf of Verhoeven, the court asked Chandhiok and Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain to file their written submissions before the next date of hearing on August 13.
It said that on August 13, it will conclude hearing in the matter.
The ASG had earlier argued that since Verhoeven was a fugitive criminal, even in the absence of a extradition treaty with Chile, the Extradition Act would apply to her.
56-year-old Verhoeven was arrested on February 16 in Uttar Pradesh while entering India from Nepal and has been in judicial custody ever since.
She is alleged to have had a hand in the assassination of Chilean Senator Jaime Guzman Errazuriz on April 1, 1991.