India, UK ink pact to swap prisoners

Agence France Presse

New Delhi, April 8 :

India’s cabinet today gave the go-ahead to a draft agreement with Britain which will

allow certain categories of convicted prisoners to serve out their time in their respective home countries, a government statement said.

Under the accord, provisionally signed in New Delhi in February by India’s Home Minister Shivraj Patil and the visiting British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, the Indian prisoners in Britain and British prisoners in India can ask to be sent to a prison in their home country to complete their sentence on grounds of age, mental or physical condition, the statement said.

Both countries would have to approve the request which would be rejected if the convicts have other cases pending against them or have been sentenced to death in India.

It was not immediately clear how many British citizens are serving terms in Indian jails. It was also not clear how many Indian nationals are serving time in British jails.