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Venkaiah Naidu pitches for ambitious pact simplifying extradition process

Venkaiah Naidu pitches for ambitious pact simplifying extradition process
Instead of facing the law, the fugitives are defaming the country by saying that they face threat to life in India, he said.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu Thursday made a case for an agreement among countries for "automatic" extradition of fugitive criminals, amid several alleged high-profile economic offenders like Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi fleeing India.

Speaking at an event organised by realtors' body Credai, Naidu stressed that businesses should be ethical in their approach for the development of the country and asked them to adopt an internal self-regulation mechanism. "We cannot allow few unscrupulous players to defame our country and derail growth process," he said, adding that some people have looted India, cheated banks and fled the country.

Instead of facing the law, the fugitives are defaming the country by saying that they face threat to life in India, he said. "What is the threat? You have become a threat to the nation. You are trying to defame the country. Why don't you come and face the law...(the way) others are facing," Naidu said. He, however, did not name any person.

The Vice President said offenders also try to take advantage of the loopholes in the system, as he called for an automatic extradition treaty among countries. "Countries must have an automatic extradition treaty. Whoever (is) wanted by law enforcing agency, they must be extradited," Naidu said.

India is awaiting extradition of business tycoon Vijay Mallya from the UK. Besides, the process has been set in place for bringing back Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, who allegedly defrauded Punjab National Bank of about Rs 14,000 crore. The government has been successful in bringing back about a dozen fugitive criminals, including Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland helicopter deal, in the past three years. As of now, India has signed extradition treaties with 50 countries and entered into extradition arrangements with 10 more nations.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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