Hyderabad: The United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation has asked the State Crime Investigation Department to “provisionally arrest”, after locating, “fugitive” K.V.P. Ramachandra Rao who was indicted by a US court in the titanium mining licence scam.
The warrant reached the CID on Wednesday, the day Dr Rao was in New Delhi taking oath as a Rajya Sabha MP for the second term! The red corner notice was sent in the E-extradition process of Interpol.
Under the Indo-US extradition treaty the contracting state can request a provisional arrest if the case is urgent. Interpol issued the red corner notice (A-2828/4-2014) for Dr Rao on April 11, based on a request from the FBI. The same was forwarded to Interpol’s nodal agency in India, the CBI.
The CBI wrote to CID Additional DG T. Krishna Prasad on April 22 to locate and provisionally arrest Dr Rao so that he can be extradited. The CID is the nodal agency for the state police for execution of international warrants.
In the red corner notice it was alleged that Dr Rao is wanted for “money laundering, bribery, and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations”.
In the notice it was mentioned that he is a resident of Ampapuram in Krishna district. The Illinois Northern District Court’s indictment report was attached to the notice.
However, Mr Krishna Prasad claimed he is yet to receive the letter from the CBI. Director-General of Police B. Prasada Rao’s office also states that “there is no communication from anywhere about Dr Rao’s issue”.
All six defendants were charged on one count each of racketeering, conspiracy and money laundering, and two counts of interstate travel in aid of racketeering.
Speaker to be told of arrest
The next move of the CID will be to inform the Rajya Sabha Speaker and provisionally arrest Dr K.V.P. Ramachandra Rao. After the provisional arrest, he will be produced in the CID court at Nampally with all necessary documents.
A senior police official said, “We don’t need any permission from the Speaker. We just need to inform the Speaker about the arrest of the member. After the arrest, the local CID court will decide on sending him for the extradition trial to Patiala Court in Delhi.”
The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court (extradition court) Patiala House, in Delhi will decide whether is it is an extraditable case.
If extradition process gets okayed in the country, he will be taken by the FBI to Chicago and tried in the US Illinois court.
In the recent extradition case of Nerusu Lakshminivas Rao, a murderer wanted by the US police, the CID of AP police had followed the same procedure and extradited Rao to the US after he was arrested in Krishna district.
India and the US had signed an extradition treaty in 1997, which states that an offence shall be extraditable, whether or not laws in both the US and India place the offence within the same category or describe the offence by the same terminology.
According to assistant solicitor-general of India in AP HC P. Vishnuvardhan Reddy, Titanium mining scam is not a political offence and it attracts more than 1-year imprisonment and investigation is already complete. Under these circumstances, India is bound to extradite the Indian national as per treaty.