Source: News Bharati English28 Oct 2016 09:18:50

New Delhi, October 28: An Agreement between India and Estonia on the transfer of sentenced persons has been approved and ratified by the Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The transfer of prisoners to their own native countries shall facilitate their social rehabilitation.
Signing the Agreement will ensure the Indian prisoners imprisoned in Estonia or vice-versa to be near to their families, for serving remaining part of their sentence and shall also facilitate their social rehabilitation.

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.

Therefore, the Repatriation of Prisoners Act, 2003 was enacted for serving the above purpose. In order to achieve the objectives of the Act, a treaty is required to be signed with countries having mutual interest with India and later to the notified in the Official Gazette.

The Government has so far signed bilateral Agreements on Transfer of Sentenced Persons with United Kingdom, Mauritius, Bulgaria, France, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Bangladesh, Brazil, Israel, Bosnia & Herzegovina, UAE, Italy, Turkey, Maldives-, Thailand, Russian Federation, Kuwait, Viet Nam, Australia, Hong Kong, Qatar, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Bahrain. So far total 65 prisoners have been exchanged, out of which 55 were Indians.