British Columbian Court of Appeal Holds Minister’s Decision to Surrender on India’s Assurances Unreasonable

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Friday, March 11, 2016
Bruce Zagaris
On February 26, 2015, by a majority 2 to 1 decision, the British Columbia Court of Appeal allowed an application for judicial review of the surrender to India of two persons on charges of conspiracy to commit murder.  The Minister of Justice ordered their surrender, conditional on assurances from India respecting the non-imposition of the death penalty, the applicants’ health and safety in custody, and consular access.  The applicants challenged the Minister’s decision on the basis that India may not honor the death penalty assurance, that they may not receive a fair trial in India, and that the assurances are insufficient to meet the risk of torture, violence and neglect in Indian custody.