Nepal cabinet to decide kidney king’s fate Sunday

By Sudeshna Sarkar, IANS

Kathmandu : Nepal’s council of ministers will decide on nabbed Indian kidney racket kingpin Amit Kumar’s fate Sunday at an emergency cabinet meeting, a senior minister said Saturday.

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Peace and Reconstruction Minister Ram Chandra Poudel, who also acts as Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s deputy, said the Indian government had asked Nepal to deport the Indian, who was running a multi-billion rupees kidney transplant racket from Gurgaon in India’s Haryana state.

Poudel hinted that on Sunday the Nepal government could decide not to press charges against Kumar, which would facilitate his deportation.

“Since the Indian government has sent us a letter, we don’t want to delay the handover,” Poudel said. “We are holding discussions with legal experts over the issue.”

The minister also said that the Kumar case underlined the need for the two neighbouring countries to work closely so that criminals would not be able to take advantage of the open border between both.

Meanwhile, Indian diplomatic sources in Kathmandu indicated that they were optimistic of a quick handover.

“We expect the deportation to take place soon,” Indian Embassy spokesperson Gopal Baglay said.

India and Nepal have an extradition treaty, according to which India will hand over Nepali criminals arrested on Indian soil and vice versa.

In the past, when the Maoists were a banned party in Nepal, India had arrested several rebels on Indian soil and handed them over to Nepali authorities.

However, the snag is that the handover will be done only if there are no charges against the fugitive in the country where he had fled.

Nepal’s police, who arrested Amit Kumar Thursday from a holiday resort in south Nepal, had announced that they would produce the 43-year-old in a Kathmandu district court Sunday, when he would be slapped with the charge of violating Nepal’s Foreign Exchange Regulation Act.

Senior Superintendent of Police Upendra Kant Arryal of Metropolitan Police’s crime division, that had been leading the manhunt for Kumar in Nepal, had said since there was also an Interpol red alert for the Indian’s capture, he would be handed over to the Indian authorities after the legal procedures against him in Nepal were completed.

Since the FERA act punishes a violator with a maximum four-year jail term and a fine, given Nepal’s slow legal procedure ordinarily, Kumar would have been destined to stay behind bars in Nepal for minimum four years.

However, with the pressure on the Indian government to take action against Kumar, who could have conducted hundreds of kidney transplants, New Delhi is negotiating with Nepal for a quick handover of the accused.