From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Interpol, Red notice
Mains level : INTERPOL and its mandate
- Union Home Minister has conveyed to Interpol Secretary-General that India would like the international police agency to expedite its process of publishing Red Notices (RNs).
- As many as 18 requests for RNs from India are pending with Interpol, including against famous fugitives hiding abroad.
Red Notices (RNs)
- Criminals or suspects often flee to other countries to evade facing justice. An RN alerts police forces across the world about fugitives who are wanted internationally.
- Interpol describes an RN as “a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action”.
- RNs contain information that helps identify wanted persons, such as their names, dates of birth, nationality, and physical attributes such as the colour of their hair and eyes.
- It also includes pictures and biometric data such as fingerprints, if they are available.
Not a warrant of arrest
- The Interpol itself does not want individuals; they are wanted by a country or an international tribunal.
- Also, an RN is an international wanted persons’ notice; it is not an international arrest warrant.
- Which means that the Interpol cannot compel the 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.
- RNs mention the crime(s) they are wanted for.
- An RN is published by Interpol at the request of a member country.
- The fugitives may be wanted for prosecution or to serve a sentence.
- The country issuing the request need not be the home country of the fugitive; Interpol acts on the request of a country where the alleged crime has been committed.
- In cases where the help of the public is needed to locate an individual, or if those individuals pose a threat to public safety, a public extract of the RN is published on the Interpol’s website.
Importance of RNs
- RNs are issued to simultaneously alert police in all member countries about internationally wanted fugitives.
- An RN can help bring a fugitive to justice, sometimes many years after the crime was committed.
- However, because an RN is not an arrest warrant, action against a fugitive frequently rests on the diplomatic clout that the country making the request has with the country where the fugitive is located.
- Nations with a big international profile, and economic or political heft, are often more successful than the rest.
Checks and balances
- The Interpol says that an RN must comply with its constitution and rules.
- It says that “every Red Notice request is checked by a specialised task force to ensure it is compliant with (Interpol) rules”.
- The Interpol argues that an RN is issued only after a competent court has taken cognizance of a chargesheet against the fugitive.
- In the case of Nirav Modi, the CBI filed a chargesheet in May 2018, and Interpol issued an RN in July that year.
- However, in the case of Choksi, India has been frustrated: while the chargesheet was filed in June 2018, the RN is yet to be issued.
- The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) is an international organization that facilitates worldwide police cooperation and crime control.
- Headquartered in Lyon, France, it was founded in 1923 as the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC).
- NTERPOL provides investigative support, expertise, and training to law enforcement worldwide in battling three major areas of transnational crime: terrorism, cybercrime, and organized crime.
- Its broad mandate covers virtually every kind of crime, including crimes against humanity, child pornography, drug trafficking and production, political corruption, copyright infringement, and white-collar crime.
- The agency also helps coordinate cooperation among the world’s law enforcement institutions through criminal databases and communications networks.
- India accepted Interpol membership in June 1956.