Headline : India asked Interpol to hasten issuance of Red Notices against fugitives.
Why in News:
- The Union Home Minister Amit Shah has expressed concern over delays by the Interpol in issuing Red Notices against fugitives from India.
- Shah also proposed that India host Interpol’s General Assembly, in 2022, in New Delhi as part of the nation’s celebrations of the 75th Independence Day.
A Note on the Interpol
About The Interpol:
- The International Criminal Police Organization, or Interpol, is a 194-member intergovernmental organization headquartered in Lyon, France.
- It was formed in 1923 as the International Criminal Police Commission, and started calling itself Interpol in 1956. India joined the organization in 1949, and is one of its oldest members.
Aims & Objectives:
- Interpol’s declared global policing goals include
- countering terrorism
- promoting border integrity worldwide
- providing a secure cyberspace for people and businesses
- curbing illicit markets etc.
- Interpol aims to help police in all its member countries to work together to make the world a safer place.
- It enables police forces from different countries to share and access data on crimes and criminals, and offers a range of technical and operational support.
- An important tool in the hands of Interpol is the Red Notice (RN). The Notice enables the arrest of a person, who has fled the country of offence, from any other country.
Interpol Red Notice (RN):
- Criminals or suspects often flee to other countries to evade facing justice. An Red Notice (RN) alerts police forces across the world about fugitives who are wanted internationally.
- Interpol describes an RN as “a request/alert to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action”.
- An RN is published by Interpol at the request of a member country. The fugitives may be wanted for prosecution or to serve a sentence.
- The country issuing the request need not be the home country of the fugitive; Interpol acts on the request of a country where the alleged crime has been committed.
- Number of Red Notices (RNs):
- The Interpol says some 58,000 RNs are currently valid, of which around 7,000 are public.
- Most RNs are restricted to law enforcement use only.
- In 2018, Interpol issued 13,516 RNs.
- RN is not a warrant of arrest:
- It is not an international arrest warrant that means the Interpol cannot compel the law enforcement authorities in any country to arrest the subject of an RN.
- It is up to individual member countries to decide what legal value to give to an RN, and the authority of their national law enforcement officers to make arrests. Action against a fugitive frequently rests on the diplomatic clout that the country making the request has with the country where the fugitive is located.
General Assembly of the Interpol:
- The General Assembly is Interpol’s supreme governing body, and comprises representatives from all its member countries.
- The General Assembly meets annually for a session lasting approximately four days, to vote on activities and policy and discuss major trends in crime and security, and provides an important opportunity for countries to network and share experiences
- Each country is represented by one or more delegates at the Assembly, who are typically chiefs of law enforcement agencies.
- The General Assembly also elects the members of the Interpol Executive Committee, the governing body which “provides guidance and direction in between sessions of the Assembly”.
- Assembly Resolutions:
- The General Assembly’s decisions take the form of Resolutions.
- Each member country has one vote.
- Decisions are made either by a simple or a two-thirds majority, depending on the subject matter.
- General Assembly Resolutions are public documents.
- India has expressed concern over delays by Interpol in issuing Red Notices in cases where India has requested for them.
- The Indian Home Minister noted that 18 such requests from India are pending with the Interpol.
- Also, India has proposed to Interpol that the General Assembly of the organization be held in New Delhi in 2022 as part of the nation’s 75th Independence Day celebrations.
Major requests from India pending with Interpol:
- There is a pending request from India against fugitive jeweler Mehul Choksi, who is a key accused in the Rs 13,500 crore PNB scam.
- The Interpol has also refused to issue a Red Notice against former IPL chairman Lalit Modi, who is under investigation for irregularities in India.
- It has also not accepted India’s request for a Red Notice against Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, who has run away to Malaysia.
India’s Concerns expressed to Interpol:
- India told the Interpol that it was not satisfied with its Red Notice publication process and expected it to have a quicker resolution of requests.
- India wants Interpol to actively collaborate with Indian law enforcement agencies to make best use of the expertise gained by our intelligence and investigation agencies which have acquired rich and varied experience in their decade’s old fight against terrorism.
- India wants zero-tolerance approach to drug trafficking, international terrorism and money laundering, and called upon Interpol to accord top most priority in fighting these menaces.
- India also expressed India’s willingness to be a Regional Hub of Interpol Global Academy by extending assistance as well as infrastructural support.
- Checks and balances: The Interpol argued that it issues a Red Notice only after a competent court has taken cognizance of a charge sheet against the fugitive.
- However, Interpol has assured enhanced operational cooperation.
- The Interpol databases house 100 million records, secure global data communication channel (I-24/7) and other tools through which Interpol assists law enforcement agencies across the world.
- Interpol desired that Indian law enforcement agencies may make efforts to ensure more extensive use of Interpol’s tools and databases, more particularly at border control points.
Section : International Relation