High Court upholds refusal to extradite to India

In a significant judgment, the High Court (Lord Justice Dingemans and Mr Justice Spencer) upheld the decision of Senior District Judge Arbuthnot discharging Ms Dhir and Mr Raijada from an extradition request from India for allegations of child murder.

In July 2019, SDJ Arbuthnot discharged the requested persons from the Indian extradition request on the basis that the imposition of a whole life order without the possibility of review or release was an inhuman or degrading sentence. The background to this decision can be found here.

India appealed arguing that SDJ Arbuthnot was wrong to refuse to adjourn proceedings when, on the day of judgment, India produced an Assurance purporting exceptionally to permit the requested persons to fall within the Gujarat state policy for remission.

Lord Justice Dingemans criticised the Indian “Government's failure to obtain directions in relation to the assurance or to provide the assurance at an earlier stage” and found that SDJ Arbuthnot’s decision to refuse to adjourn was not wrong. The appeal was accordingly dismissed.

Ms Dhir was represented by Edward Fitzgerald QC and Graeme Hall, instructed by Neil Allan of Tuckers Solicitors.

Mr Raijada was represented by Edward Fitzgerald QC and Peter Caldwell, instructed by Renata Pinter of Dalton Holmes Gray Solicitors.

The case has been widely reported in the media on the BBC, in the Daily Mail and the Times of India.