Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM), Abhishek Kumar, recommended the extradition of Jose Inacio Cota after considering the evidence and arguments by the central government as well as defence counsel Patiala House Court in Delhi has recommended the extradition of a fugitive criminal (FC) who is wanted in connection with a 2017 bar rape case in London.
Jose Inacio Cota, the wanted criminal, is a native of Goa and a Portuguese national.Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM), Abhishek Kumar, recommended the extradition of Jose Inacio Cota after considering the evidence and arguments by the central government as well as defence counsel.
“I recommend to the Union of India the extradition of Mr. Jose Inacio Cota, the fugitive criminal (FC), on the charge of rape under Section 1(1) of the Sexual Offences Act, 2003,” ACMM ordered on October 12, 2023.In 2021, the Ministry of External Affairs requested the court for an extradition inquiry under Section 5 of the Extradition Act, 1962, in respect of Jose Inacio Cota, at the request of the Government of the United Kingdom (UK) of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
As per the application filed under Section 6 of the Extradition Act, the FC is wanted to stand trial in the Court of Law in the UK, charged with the offence of rape contrary to Section 1(1) of the Sexual Offences Act, 2003.
ACMM Abhishek Kumar said, “I conclude that all the necessary conditions for evaluating the extradition request have been met. The offence with which FC has been charged, i.e., rape under Section 1(1) of the Sexual Offences Act, 2003, qualifies as an extraditable offence.”
The court also said that the documents received through the extradition request satisfied the authentication requirements outlined in both the treaty and the act, effectively establishing a prima facie case against the FC.The court acknowledged and expressed its sincere appreciation for the valuable assistance and cooperation provided by the learned Special Public Prosecutor (SPP), Rekha Pandey, and Defence Counsel, Arpit Batra, during the inquiry proceedings.
The story behind the case in the UK (the requesting state) is that on May 28, 2017, the complainant attended Two Rivers Pub in England’s Staines to celebrate a friend’s birthday, and the FC was known to the complainant through a third party. The FC while working behind the bar, approached her and asked to speak with her in the back room, where he had committed rape.
Thereafter, the accused was detained, and an investigation was conducted. The evidence collected was provided to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) of England and Wales, wherein a decision was made by the CPS prosecutor that there is a realistic prospect of conviction and to prosecute the FC for the offence of rape contrary to Section 1(1) of the Sexual Offences Act, 2003.
However, FC left the country before he could be formally charged for the offence, the court noted. SPP Rekha Pandey argued on behalf of the Union of India that there is ample evidence on record, establishing a prima facie case for the extradition of FC on charges of rape.