New Delhi, Nov 5 :
The Union Cabinet Wednesday gave its approval for signing a treaty with Nigeria on transfer of sentenced prisoners.
The decision was taken at the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Once signed, the treaty will enable Indians imprisoned in Nigeria – or Nigerians jailed in India – to be near their families, serve the remaining part of their sentence in India, and shall facilitate their social rehabilitation.
It said the government has signed similar agreements with the United Kingdom, Mauritius, Bulgaria, Brazil, Cambodia, Egypt, France, Bangladesh, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Sri Lanka, the UAE, the Maldives, Thailand, Turkey, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, Russia and Vietnam.
The release said that negotiations have also been concluded with the governments of Canada, Hong Kong, Australia and Spain.
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 Repatriation of Prisoners Act, 2003, was enacted for the purpose.
To achieve the objectives of the act, a treaty or agreement is required to be signed with countries having mutual interest with India and it is to be later notified in the official gazette.