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SOURCE: ANI

The Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic has upheld the earlier rulings of the relevant courts on the admissibility of extradition of Nikhil Gupta, said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal added that India is not aware of any subsequent action. Nikhil Gupta is an accused in the alleged assassination attempt on Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. “Regarding Nikhil Gupta, we understand that the constitutional court in the Czech Republic has given a ruling upholding the earlier decisions of the courts on the admissibility of the extradition request,” the MEA spokesperson said at a weekly media briefing on Thursday.

As per the US Justice Department indictment, Indian national Nikhil Gupta, who is currently in Czech custody, has been charged with the murder-for-hire of Pannun, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Gurpatwant Singh Pannun is an India-designated terrorist who holds American and Canadian citizenship.

The Czech authorities arrested and detained Gupta on June 30 last year under the bilateral extradition treaty between the United States and the Czech Republic. The US Justice Department had claimed that an Indian government employee, who was not identified in the indictment filed in a federal court in Manhattan, had recruited Indian national Nikhil Gupta to hire a hitman to allegedly assassinate Panun, which was foiled by US authorities.

The US Justice Department claimed that Gupta is an associate of CC-1 (an unidentified person who directed the alleged plot), and has described his involvement in international narcotics and weapons trafficking in his communications with CC-1. The indictment claims CC -1 directed the assassination plot from India. Earlier, Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky said that his country has an independent judicial system that will decide on the case. “We have an independent judicial system that will decide on the case,” he told ANI.

A Czech court, earlier ruled that Prague can extradite to the United States, the 52-year-old Indian man, Nikhil Gupta, who is accused by the United States of involvement in the alleged attempt to kill Sikh separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a Czech-based media outlet Seznam Zpravy reported, citing judicial database Infosoud. However, the extradition of Gupta still requires the approval of Czech Justice Minister Pavel Blazek, the publication reported. In December last year, US Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer acknowledged India’s establishment of a Committee of Enquiry to investigate the plot to allegedly kill Pannun in the US.