US bound by Treaty to extradite Headley: Solicitor General
New Delhi: With the US ruling out handing
over of David Headley to India, Solicitor General Gopal
Subramanium has asked the government to act tough and settle
for nothing less than his extradition, arguing that a plea
bargain cannot be a substitute an international treaty.
Subramanium, whose advice was sought by the Home Ministry
on Headley case, has underlined that the US was under
obligation to hand over the Lashkar-e Taiba operative as the
Extradition Treaty between the US and India was binding on the
two countries as per international covenants, sources said.
The argument of plea bargaining can't be a substitute for
an international extradition treaty as the latter would always
prevail over domestic laws, Subramanium told the Ministry
official in a meeting last night.
The law officer has advised the government that Headley,
the 49-year-old terrorist who has admitted to plotting the
audacious Mumbai terror attack, once extradited to India
should be subject to sustained interrogation to ensure that
sufficient material evidence was gathered to ensure his
prosecution in India independently out of the proceedings
being conducted in the US.
Under the plea bargain, India can have access to the
terrorist through deposition, video conferencing or Letters
The US has, however, refused to extradite Headley and
made it clear that no decision had been taken on giving India
a direct access to him.
Headley had last week pleaded guilty to all the 12 terror
charges of conspiracy involving bombing public places in
India, murdering and maiming persons and providing material
support to foreign terrorist plots and Pakistan-based LeT
besides aiding and abetting the murder of six US citizens
in the 26/11 attacks that killed 166 people.
Headley was arrested by the FBI in October last year.