New York: In a major legal victory for India, an American court has allowed the extradition to India of Pakistani-born Canadian businessman Tahavur Rana, who is wanted in India for the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. The verdict comes less than a month before Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to leave for his first official visit to the US at the invitation of President Joe Biden. President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden are scheduled to host a dinner at the White House in June 2022 in their honor.
US Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Chuljian, who is a judge in the District Court for the Central District of California, issued a 48-page order on May 16, saying that 62-year-old Rana should be extradited to India under the extradition treaty between India and the US. This Court has reviewed all the submissions and documents made in support of and in opposition to the extradition and has considered the arguments made before it during the hearing. Based on this review and consideration, and for the reasons discussed herein, this court reaches the following conclusions and grants the US Secretary of State a certificate to extradite Rana based on the charges set forth in the request, the court order said. Elaborating the grounds for extradition, the order said, “Accordingly, the court comes to the conclusion that the grounds on which Rana’s extradition is sought is that Rana has committed the offense and therefore should be extradited to India under the extradition treaty between India and the United States.”
Speaking about the order, Indian-origin veteran US attorney Ravi Batra said that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken would find it necessary to extradite Rana to India as the US is among the countries that suffer. However, Rana has the right to appeal to the circuit court, and Batra said he fully expects the circuit court to uphold the extradition order.