EXTRADITION ACT, 1989 (1991)
WHEREAS it is expedient to introduce national legislation for
extradition of fugitive offenders;
NOW therefore, the National Assembly of Bhutan enacts this
A.. This Act may be called the Extradition Act, 1989
B.. This Act shall come into force immediately.
C.. This Act shall apply to the return of persons to,
and to persons returned from a treaty state.
D. This Act may also apply to non-treaty state where
the Royal Government of Bhutan considers it
expedient to surrender the suspected fugitive
offender to that state not withstanding that there
is no extradition treaty with that state, subject
to modifications, exceptions, conditions and
qualifications, if any, as may be made by the
Royal Government of Bhutan.
II.. Definitions :
In this act, unless there is anything repugnant in the
subject or context :
A.. "Court" means High Court of Bhutan unless it is
B. "Extradition Offence" means an offence included in
the Schedule to this Act constituting an offence
against the law of Bhutan, or an offence specified
in the extradition treaty or arrangement with the
C.. "Treaty State" means a foreign state with which an
extradition treaty is in operation.
D.. "Extradition Treaty" means a treaty or agreement
between Bhutan and foreign state for the
extradition to or from such state of a person
accused or convicted of an extradition offence.
E.. "Fugitive offender" means a person who, being
accused or convicted of an extradition offence
within the jurisdiction of a foreign state is, or
is suspected to be, in Bhutan.
F.. "Requesting state" means a treaty state which
requests another treaty state for extradition of a
III.. Request for extradition or punishment:
A.. Request for extradition or punishment of the
fugitive offender who, after committing an
offence, has absconded to the Kingdom of Bhutan
may be made in writing through the diplomatic
mission of the foreign country in Bhutan or
through the Bhutanese diplomatic mission in that
country. If such a request cannot be made through
these channels, the foreign country may make the
request directly to the Royal Government of
B.. While making the request for extradition or
punishment pursuant to sub-section 3.1 above, the
requesting state shall provide all relevant
evidence and information about the fugitive
offender including those submitted by him and
state the location of his stay in Bhutan.
IV.. Proceedings :
A.. On receipt of the request for extradition or
punishment of a fugitive offender, the Royal
Government may, if it thinks fit, order the High
Court to investigate the matter.
B.. The Court, after receiving the Government order,
shall issue a summon or warrant for arrest of the
C.. When the fugitive offender appears or is produced
before the Court, the Court shall inquire into the
case and take such evidence as if it where a
similar case triable under its jurisdiction.
D.. On completion of the inquiry, the Court shall
submit a report to the Royal Government on the
results of its inquiry and its recommendations.
The report shall include all pertinent information
and evidence received in connection with the
inquiry including other submissions as may be
requested by the fugitive offender.
E.. Pending the decision of the Royal Government on
the report, the fugitive offender shall remain
under police custody for a period not exceeding
thirty days from the day of the submission of the
report by the Court to the Royal
Government of Bhutan.
V.. Extradition of fugitive offender :
A.. If the Royal Government decides to extradite any
fugitive offender on the basis of the
recommendations made by the Court, it shall inform
the requesting state of its decision. The Royal
Government shall also issue an order specifying
the place where the fugitive offender is to be
handed over and the name of the person who is to
B.. While extraditing the fugitive offender pursuant
to sub-section 5.1. above, the cash or kind seized
from him shall also be handed over to the person
who received the fugitive offender if such cash or
kind is not claimed by any other person.
C.. If a fugitive offender who has been detained for
extradition under sub-section 5.1. above, has not
been taken out of Bhutan within 60 days after
issuing the order for extradition, the High Court
upon receipt of petition submitted by the fugitive
offender or on his behalf, may acquit him unless a
reasonable case is made out on the contrary.
VI.. Restriction on extradition :
A.. The Royal Government shall not extradite the
fugitive offender for whom a request has been made
for extradition on the following conditions :
B.. If such fugitive offender is deemed to have
committed a political offence on the basis of the
evidence received from the requesting country or
on the basis of evidence produced by the fugitive
offender during the course of the investigation by
the Court or if it is found that the fugitive
offender is being demanded for punishment on
C.. If it appears to the Royal Government that by
reason of the trivial nature of the case or by
reason of the request for surrender or return of a
fugitive offender not being made in good faith or
in the interest of justice or for any other
reasons deemed important by the Royal Government,
it is unjust or inexpedient to extradite the
D.. If the fugitive offender is undergoing a trial or
punishment in Bhutan for offence committed within
the kingdom till the trial or punishment is over.
E.. If the prosecution for the offence in respect of
which the surrender is sought, is according to the
law of the requesting state, barred by time.
VII.. Punishment within Bhutan :
A.. If the Royal Government finds it reasonable to
punish than extradite any fugitive offender on the
basis of the report submitted by the Court, it may
order the Court to initiate the proceedings for
punishment. In such a case, the Royal Government
shall inform the requesting state of the intention
to punish the fugitive offender in Bhutan.
B.. Although an appeal under the prevailing law may
lie against the decision made by the Court, the
fugitive offender may plead for clemency to His
Majesty the King of Bhutan.
VIII.. Special provision :
A.. Notwithstanding the provisions of the law of
Bhutan the evidence, proof and documents received
from the requesting state in connection with the
case whose proceedings have been initiated under
this Act may be admitted as evidence by the Court.
IX.. Jurisdiction of the High Court for purposes of criminal
A.. If any person whether a citizen of Bhutan or not,
commits in a treaty state any of the extradition
offenses under this Act, such person shall be
guilty in Bhutan of the offence constituted by
commission of the act in Bhutan.
X.. Surrender of fugitive offender to Bhutan :
A.. A requisition for the surrender to Bhutan of a person
who being accused or convicted of an extradition
offence, is or is suspected to be in a treaty state may
be made by the Kingdom of Bhutan in the same manner as
specified in Article 3 above.
B.. Any person accused or convicted of an extradition
offence who is surrendered or returned by a treaty
state may be brought into Bhutan and delivered to the
authority specified in the warrant of arrest or
surrender issues by the treaty state for facing charges
in accordance with the law of Bhutan.
C.. A person surrendered or returned to Bhutan by a treaty
state in pursuance of provision 9.1. of this Act shall
not be tried in Bhutan for an offence committed prior
to the surrender or return, other than the offence
proved by the facts for which he has been surrendered.
D.. The Royal Government may arrange for the person
surrendered to Bhutan by the treaty state to be sent
back at the cost of the Royal Government if the
proceedings against him have not begun within ninety
days from the date of his surrender or return to Bhutan
and if he is acquitted or discharged after trial.
XI.. Power to frame rules :
A.. The Royal Government may frame rules, as required, for
implementing the provisions of this Act.
B.. The Royal Government may amend this Act.
(Alternative 1 )
The following list of extradition offenses is to be construed
according to the law in force in Bhutan on the date of the alleged
1. Culpable homicide
2. Attempt to murder
3. Causing miscarriage and abandonment of child
4. Kidnapping, abduction, slavery and forced labour
5. Rape and unnatural offenses
6. Theft, extortion, robbery and dacoity
7. Criminal misappropriation and criminal breach of trust.
10. Forgery, using forged documents and other offenses
relating to false documents
11. Offenses relating to coins and stamps
12. Sinking or destroying a vessel at sea or attempting or
conspiring to do so.
13. Damaging or destroying an aircraft in the air or
attempting or conspiring to do so.
14. Assault on board a vessel on the high seas or an
aircraft in the air outside Bhutan or the Bhutanese air
space with intent to destroy life or to do grievous
15. Revolt or conspiracy to revolt by two or more persons
on board a vessel on the high seas or an aircraft in
the air outside Bhutan or the Bhutanese air space
against the authority of the master or the pilot in
16. Smuggling of gold, gold manufactures, diamonds and
other precious stones or of any narcotic substance.
17. Immoral traffic in women and girls.
18. Any offence which is committed in Bhutan would be
punishable under any other section of the law of
Any offence which, in accordance with law of the Kingdom of
Bhutan, is punishable with death or imprisonment for life or a
term exceeding twelve months shall be treated by the Court as an
extradition offence under this Act.