Learning & Education
Date of Award: 24 February 1911
In July 1910, the British Government sent a British-Indian named Vinayak Damodar Savarkar from England to India to be prosecuted for the abetment of murder. The prisoner was sent to India aboard the “Morea” which called at the Port of Marseille, France, on 7 July 1910. In conformity with instructions given by the Sûreté Générale in Paris, who had been contacted by the Police Commissioner in London informing him of the transportation of the prisoner, an authority of the French police was placed at the disposal of the Commander in respect of the watch kept. The following morning, Savarkar succeeded in escaping from the boat and swam ashore before being arrested by a brigadier of the French maritime gendarmerie who turned him over to British agents abroad the vessel.
The French Government did not approve of the manner in which these agents at Marseille had acted, and demanded the restitution of Savarkar to France. The Government felt that the delivery of Savarkar to the British authorities amounted to an extradition. Following a diplomatic exchange, the two Governments submitted their dispute to arbitration.
Arrest and Return of Savarkar: Award