MHA issues revised guidelines for Mutual Legal Assistance in criminal matters

New Delhi [India], Jan 8 (ANI): The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued revised guidelines for Mutual Legal Assistance in criminal matters.

According to the central government, the revision has been done in furtherance to the Government of India's policy of zero tolerance for crime and in an endeavor to fast track the dispensation of justice. India has also entered into legal assistance treaties with 42 countries.

"The revised guidelines provide step-by-step guidance to the investigation agencies for drafting and processing Letters Rogatory/Mutual Legal Assistance Requests and Service of Summons, Notices and other Judicial Documents. By incorporating various legal and technological developments in recent years, it aims to make the documentation in this regard more precise and focused as well as compliant with International requirements," MHA said on Wednesday.

The Ministry says that the guidelines have also taken into account the concerns raised by various courts for prompt and timely responses in the service of documents on persons residing abroad. "As an initiative, the revised guidelines have provision for service of documents on authorities of foreign country preferably within 10 days of receipt of the request in respect of offenses committed against women and children," MHA said.

The MHA also said that India has entered into Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties/Agreements with 42 countries and is a signatory to various international conventions i.e. UNCAC, UNTOC, etc. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is the designated 'Central Authority' for India.

In order to streamline the process of rendering/seeking such assistance, MHA had issued guidelines regarding investigation abroad & issue of Letters Rogatory (LRs) in 2007 & regarding Service of Summons/Notices/Judicial process on the persons residing abroad in 2009, the Ministry said. (ANI)