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 Rogatory.

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.

-PTI