A 73-year-old British national, wanted in a child abuse and trafficking case in the Philippines, has moved the Delhi High Court challenging the proceedings in a trial court to extradite him to that country.
A bench of justices Vipin Sanghi and P S Teji has sought the response of the Centre on the plea of Lennox James Ellis, who was arrested from Goa on June 9 last year on the basis of a Red Corner Notice issued by Interpol at the behest of the Philippines government.
Ellis has been lodged in Tihar Jail since July 11 last year where he was sent after being incarcerated in a Goa jail for over a month.
He had entered India on January 15 last year on a valid tourist visa and was arrested from Goa airport when he was about to board a flight to Bangkok.
In his plea filed through advocate Ramni Taneja, Ellis has contended that he cannot be extradited to Philippines as the extradition treaty of India with that country was published in the Official Gazette on August 23, 2016, much after his arrest.
Therefore, the Extradition Act cannot be applied to him retrospectively, he has contended.
He also argued that he has been incarcerated in India for nearly 17 months “arbitrarily and illegally and without any legal basis whatsoever”.
He also claimed in his plea that the issue of his extradition is between the UK and the Philippines and “India has no nexus whatsoever in this case”.
He alleged that the instant case is one of “political persecution and political vendetta by the highest authority of the Philippines”.
He further claimed that if extradited to that country “he will be summarily executed and killed by the brutal regime” there.
He sought quashing of the notification of the treaty with Philippines, the extradition request sent by that country and proceedings going on in the trial court to extradite him.
Apart from that, the petition also seeks his immediate discharge and release from prison.
The high court has listed the matter for further hearing on January 25.
( Source – PTI )