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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Biography of Savarkar, Post 8: The Savarkar Case

Sample of an International Newspaper write-up
The Avertiser, Adelaid, Australia
Savarkar’s forced, unceremonious extradition by the British from France received international publicity (newspaper articles are still extant) thanks to Madame Cama, Shyamji Krishnavarma, and the French Socialist leaders. Both Governments were given flak for their failure to take action in returning Savarkar to France. It was also discussed as an issue (and voted unanimously in favor of) in the International Socialist Conference in Copenhagen in 1910.

· By the time any demand was made at all, Savarkar was within Indian jurisdiction, and the Government of India (very conveniently) refused to give Savarkar up. Being a subject nation, international laws had no relevance to it.

French Newspaper cutting preserved in M. P. T. Acharya's diary for 103 years
· Finally it was decided that the Savarkar Case arbitration would be taken up at the Hague Tribunal Court and both France and Britain would abide by the judgment it gave.

Important point to note: the Hague Arbitration was only to decide the issue of return of Savarkar to France, not the issue of his right to asylum.

· Government of India refused to delay the trial of Savarkar until the Hague judgment was declared. There was good reason for that:

The evidence of Savarkar’s guilt was so flimsy that if returned to France, it was unlikely that his extradition to India would be granted. However, as a convicted murderer there was no chance of the extradition being refused (a treaty between France and Britain disqualified a murderer from being a political refugee.)

· The Arbitration at Hague is a sorry case of evasion and looking the other way. Their Award declared that Savarkar would not be returned to France.

· Till today, the Savarkar Case is a considered a landmark in International law and quoted as a case study.

The Tribunal at Hague

- Anurupa


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