Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty
MLAT i.e. Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty is an agreement between two or more nations, that aims to exchange information on legal issues. It is used by a country for formally investigating a suspect in a criminal, who resided in a foreign country.
Key Points for UPSC Prelims
- In India, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs is the nodal Ministry and the Central authority for seeking and providing mutual legal assistance in criminal law matters. The Ministry receives all such requests, examines them critically, and makes necessary actions.
- In addition, the Union Home Ministry, the External Affairs Ministry may be involved, of the case involves requests to be routed through the diplomatic channels.
- As of now, India has entered into Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties with 42 countries.
MLAT: MHA notifies rules for Indian courts for serving summons to accused in the Maldives
- The Ministry of Home Affairs has notified the Indian courts of the rules for serving summon to any accused person in the Maldives.
- Both India and Maldives have signed the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in September 2019.
- The ministry has provided a format through which Indian courts can send summons or warrants for any accused in the Maldives.
- In addition to this, any document, warrant, or summon received from a Maldivian court must be forwarded to the Home Ministry.
- As per the MLAT, all the courts or judges exercising jurisdiction in the Republic of Maldives can issue commissions for the examination of witnesses who are residing in India.
4th NSA Level Meeting on Trilateral Maritime Security Cooperation
Recently, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval participated in the 4th NSA Level Meeting on Trilateral Maritime Security Cooperation hosted by Sri Lanka from November 27 to 28, 2020. It was the trilateral meeting of India, Maldives, and Sri Lanka.
The meetings provided a platform for discussion on issues related to cooperation in maritime security in the Indian Ocean region.
It is expected that the arrangement on summons between India and Maldives was reached during this meeting. However, no official statement was released.