The Delhi High Court upheld an order whereby extradition of a German national, accused of kidnapping, sexually abusing children and possessing material of child pornography, was allowed.

The Bench of Justice Anish Dayal said that “...the order passed by the learned ACMM recommending the extradition of the petitioner to the Requesting State (Government of Federal Republic of Germany) to face trial for offences, as stated above, under the German Criminal Code, did not suffer from any infirmity and would be upheld, and the petition before this Court of the petitioner would be dismissed.”

Advocate Satyam Thareja appeared for the petitioner and CGSC Ajay Digpaul appeared for the respondent- Union of India

In this case, an extradition request was received from Germany through diplomatic channels for extradition of the petitioner, who was accused of having committed offences under the German Criminal Code which included Section 176, (sexual abuse of children); Section 184 (b) (dissemination/ procurement and possession of child pornography; Section 223 (bodily harm) and Section 234 (kidnapping).

Inquiry proceedings were initiated under Section 12 of the Extradition Act and it was transpired that the petitioner had been arrested in 2020 in the State of Karnataka for violation of Section 14(c) of the Foreigners Act 1946.

The ACMM, before whom the inquiry proceedings relating to extradition were initiated, issued production warrants, the petitioner was produced before the ACMM and had since been in custody in Tihar Jail.

After the enquiry was conducted, the ACMM recommended for the extradition of the petitioner. Aggrieved of the Extradition Inquiry Report and the Extradition order of Government of India, writ petition had been preferred before the High Court.

The Court said that the order passed by the ACMM did not suffer from any infirmity as the offences in question constituted an illegal/ criminal act under laws of both countries and were punishable by at least one year imprisonment, in both nations, the principle of dual criminality was duly satisfied and said that the offences in question were therefore, extraditable offences.

"The petitioner would therefore be extradited by the Government of India to the Federal Republic of Germany in accordance with applicable procedure.", the Court held.

Accordingly, the petition was dismissed.

Cause Title- Bernd Alexander Bruno Wehnelt v. Union of India (Neutral Citation 2023/DHC/001420)

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