1911

PCA

Savakar Case

Indian who was being returned to India from GB under the Fugitive Act 1881, escape and swam ashore in Marseilles harbour. A French policeman arrested him and handed him over to the British policeman who had come ashore in pursuit. Although the French police was informed of Savakar, the French agent thought that he was returning a member of the crew who had committed an offence on board. France alleged a violation of its territorial sovereignty and asked for the return of Savakar to it as restitution. The PCA decided in favour of Britain.

It is manifest that the case is no one of recourse to fraud or force in order to obtain possession of a person who had taken refuge in foreign territory, and there was not, in the circumstances of the arrest and delivery of Savakar to the British authorities and of his removal to India, anything in the nature of a violation of the sovereignty of France and that all those who took part in the matter certainly acted in good faith and had no though of doing anything unlawful… while admitting that an irregularity was committed by the arrest of Savakar and by his being handed over to the British police, there is no rule of IL imposing, in circumstances such as those which have been set out above, and obligation of the power which has in its custody a prisoner, to restore him because of a mistake committed by the foreign agent who deliver him up to that power It was irrelevant that the brigadier who agreed to return the escapee to the British ship had no authority to enter into international agreements on behalf of France