Hannah Foster case: court dismisses Kohli’s plea against extradition


New Delhi : The Delhi High Court Friday dismissed a petition by Maninder Singh Kohli, a Briton of Indian origin, challenging his extradition to Britain where he faces trial for allegedly raping and killing a British teenager four years ago.

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A division bench of Justice Mukul Mudgal and P.K. Bhasin upheld an earlier ruling by a subordinate court supporting the Indian government's decision to extradite Kohli to Britain.

On June 9, a magistrate had ordered Kohli's extradition to stand trial for the rape and murder of 17-year-old Hannah Foster with the stipulation that he should not be hanged if found guilty – although capital punishment was ended in Britain in 1964.

Kohli then challenged the extradition order before the Delhi High Court claiming the British police had given "false evidence" to the court.

In a detailed petition, Charanjit Singh, counsel for Kohli, claimed the subordinate court took into consideration a forensic report which was not scientifically based on DNA tests.

However, the high court Friday expunged the trial court's remark that Kohli was prima facie guilty of the crime.

The only recourse now left with Kohli is to challenge the order before the Supreme Court.

Kohli is accused of raping and murdering Foster after kidnapping her on March 14, 2003 from a place near her home in Portswood, Southampton, where she had gone on a weekend picnic with her friends.

According to British prosecutors, Hannah was waiting for a bus to her home when Kohli dragged her into a refrigerated delivery van that he drove for a food company.

Hannah's body was found two days later and an autopsy revealed that she had been raped and strangled.

Kohli fled to India on the pretext of visiting his ailing mother in Punjab but went into hiding. He was eventually arrested July 14, 2004, at Kalimpong in West Bengal and has been held in custody since then.