New Delhi, Oct. 27 : The Union Cabinet under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing and ratification of an agreement between India and Estonia on the transfer of sentenced persons.
This agreement shall facilitate the Indian prisoners imprisoned in Estonia or vice-versa to be near to their families for serving remaining part of their sentence and shall facilitate their social rehabilitation.
Prior to 2004, there was no domestic legislation under which foreign prisoners could be transferred to the country of their origin to serve the remaining part of their sentence, nor was there a provision for the transfer of prisoners of Indian origin convicted by a foreign court to serve their sentence in India.
The transfer of such prisoners to their own native countries shall facilitate their social rehabilitation.
Hence, the Repatriation of Prisoners Act, 2003, was enacted for serving the above purpose. For achieving the objectives of the Act, a treaty/agreement is required to be signed with countries having mutual interest with India and later to the notified in the Official Gazette.
The Government of India has so far signed bilateral agreements on transfer of sentenced persons with United Kingdom, Mauritius, Bulgaria, France, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Bangladesh, Brazil, Israel, Bosnia (and) Herzegovina, UAE, Italy, Turkey, Maldives-, Thailand, Russian Federation, Kuwait, Viet Nam, Australia, Hong Kong, Qatar, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Bahrain.
65 prisoners have been exchanged so far, out of which 55 were Indians..