SC Asks Centre To Decide On Extradition Of IS Woman Member, Daughter From Afghanistan

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to consider the request of a man from Kerala seeking extradition of his daughter, who left India in 2016 to join terrorist organisation IS, and her daughter from Afghanistan.

A bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and B. R. Gavai, disposing of the petition, directed the Centre to take a decision on the extradition request within a period of eight weeks .

The top court direction came on a petition filed by Kerala-based V.J. Sebastian seeking the extradition of his daughter Sonia Sebastian (name changed to Aysha after converting to Islam) and her minor daughter, who were reportedly jailed before the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

The top court also granted liberty to the petitioner to move the high court concerned, if he is aggrieved with the Centre’s decision.

Advocate Renjith Marar, representing the petitioner, submitted before the top court that his client’s plea was filed in July 2021, before Taliban took over Afghanistan. He added that though the prisons were demolished after the Taliban took control, however it cannot be said that his client’s daughter and granddaughter are not in detention, as there are reports of prisoners being detained at border areas.

Marar, however, noted that there is some difficulty in connection with repatriation, as the extradition agreement was with the erstwhile government.

Citing newspaper reports, the bench noted that the relations between the governments seems to be good. “But you have to first persuade the Indian government,” it told the petitioner’s counsel.

The top court said it can ask the government to consider petitioner’s request, as in extradition matters, the court cannot pass order. “All these are matters for the government to decidea..”, it observed.

Marar sought liberty to move the top court again, if the petitioner is aggrieved by the Centre’s decision. However, the bench said if the petitioner is aggrieved with Centre’s decision, then he can move the high court.