From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Interpol, Red Notices
Mains level : UAPA issues
In a major setback to Indian agencies, Interpol has taken down from its website the Red Notice against a fugitive who is wanted in connection with the ₹13,578-crore Punjab National Bank fraud cases.
What is the news?
- The person whom the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has listed as a “terrorist” under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Why has Interpol rejected India’s request?
- The Interpol has said that India has failed to provide sufficient information to support its case.
- It criticized the UAPA for being misused to target minority groups and human rights activists without “respecting” their right to due process and a fair trial.
- While acknowledging the separatists leader, the Interpol has said that his activities have a “clear political dimension”, which cannot be the subject of a Red Corner Notice.
What is the Interpol?
- The Interpol, or International Criminal Police Organization, is an inter-governmental organization comprising 195 member countries, which helps police forces in all these countries to better coordinate their actions.
- It enables member countries to share and access data on crimes and criminals and offers a range of technical and operational support.
- It is run by a secretary general with its headquarters in Lyon, France, with a global complex for innovation in Singapore, and several satellite offices in different regions.
- India accepted Interpol membership in June 1956.
How does it function in member countries?
- Interpol has a National Central Bureau (NCB) in each member country, which is the central point of contact for both the general secretariat and the other NCBs around the world.
- Each NCB is run by police officials of that country, and usually sits in the government ministry responsible for policing. (MHA in case of India.)
- Interpol manages 19 police databases with information on crimes and criminals (from names and fingerprints to stolen passports), accessible in real-time to countries.
- It also offers investigative support such as forensics, analysis, and assistance in locating fugitives around the world.
What is a Red Notice?
- Criminals or suspects often flee to other countries to evade facing justice.
- A Red Corner Notice, or Red Notice (RN) alerts police forces across the world about fugitives who are wanted internationally.
- Red Notices are issued for fugitives wanted either for prosecution or to serve a sentence.
- A Red Notice is a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action.
- An RN is published by Interpol at the request of a member country.
Indian fugitives on this RN
- Among the most popular Indians on this list are jeweller Mehul Choksi and diamantaire Nirav Modi.
Is an RN a warrant of arrest?
- An RN is only an international wanted persons’ notice; it is not an international arrest warrant.
- Interpol itself does not want individuals; they are wanted by a country or an international tribunal.
- This means the Interpol cannot compel law enforcement authorities in any country to arrest the subject of an RN.
- It is up to individual member countries to decide what legal value to give to an RN, and the authority of their national law enforcement officers to make arrests.
- Interpol says that an RN must comply with its constitution and rules.
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