Apex court refuses to halt Kohli’s extradition


New Delhi : The Supreme Court Friday refused to halt the extradition to Britain of Maninder Pal Singh Kohli, a Briton of Indian origin, to stand trial for the alleged rape and murder of British teenager Hannah Foster four years ago.

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A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice R.V. Raveendran refused to grant the legal reprieve to Kohli saying, “this case does not deserve any stay”.

The bench refused to even accede to Kohli’s counsel’s desperate plea for an early hearing – possibly by Monday – of his petition, challenging additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kamini Lau’s recommendation to the Indian government to extradite Kohli to Britain, which was endorsed by the Delhi High Court.

The bench dismissed his plea saying the date for the next hearing has already been fixed. The next date of hearing is July 20.

Srivastava pleaded for early hearing saying his client could be extradited any moment by the government, which would not be in the interest of justice.

But the bench observed, “even the DNA test has confirmed your (Kohli’s) involvement” in the March 2003 rape and murder.

While observing that it was not expressing its own opinion, it said Kohli’s movement was caught even on camera after the crime.

Refusing to heed desperate pleas by Kohli’s counsel, the court said the subordinate court and subsequently the Delhi High Court had recommended his extradition after examining voluminous documentary and other evidence.

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

On June 8, Lau had recommended his extradition with the stipulation that he be not hanged if found guilty.

She had also said that his DNA profile, as inferred from samples taken from his wife and children, matched the semen samples found on the body of the deceased Hannah Foster, and this further prima facie corroborated his alleged involvement.

Besides the forensic evidence, the lower court had listed other scientific evidence, including closed circuit TV footage, statements of witnesses and Kohli’s behaviour and conduct after the crime to recommend his deportation.

Kohli subsequently challenged Lau’s order in the high court, which dismissed his plea early this month.