India will mull pact with UK on criminals: Minister

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New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANS) India will explore the possibility of signing an agreement with the United Kingdom on exchanging information on criminals, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said on Monday.

Interacting with visiting UK Minister of State for Immigration James Brokenshire here, Rijiji said New Delhi will “positively consider” a draft on the matter and advance the signing of the memorandum of understanding on information exchange.

“Rijiju raised the issue of as many as 131 pending requests from New Delhi on extradition of wanted persons under the Extradition Treaty,” an official statement said.

Assuring of cooperation, Brokenshire, however, said these matters were for the British courts to decide.

Besides the provision of death penalty in India and the European Commission’s provisions on human rights proved to be hurdles in acceding to the requests, the UK minister said.

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Brokenshire said a team of experts may examine the pending issues on case-to-case basis.

The British minister also voiced concern on Indian migrants overstaying their visas in the UK and pointed out that Indians constituted the largest such group. Rijiju assured of India’s cooperation on this matter.

Addressing India’s concerns on the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) of the UK, Brokenshire said the British government had not reached a conclusion yet on its recommendations.

He said: “The UK, in fact, encourages Indian students to visit Britain for higher education. Also, 20,000 jobs are being offered to students and this will largely benefit the Indian students.”

Rijiju also assured the visiting UK delegation that making payment for online e-tourist visa to visit India will also be made hassle-free.

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