What is Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty?

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What is Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty? Blog Image


Recently, India and Saudi Arabia discussed signing a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) to obtain formal assistance from each other in investigations related to criminal cases.

What is this treaty?

  • It is a mechanism whereby countries cooperate with one another to provide and obtain formal assistance in the prevention, suppression, investigation and prosecution of crime to ensure that the criminals do not escape or sabotage the due process of law for want of evidence available in different countries.
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs is the Central Authority of India for dealing with requests for mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. 
  • Section 105 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) explains the reciprocal arrangements to be made by the Central Government with the Foreign Governments with regard to the service of summons/warrants/judicial processes.
  • India has so far signed MLATs with 45 countries.


Q1) Who codified the CrPC in India?

CrPC was codified by Thomas Babington Macaulay who was law member according to the Charter Act of 1833 and these were introduced by Lord Canning.

Source: India, Saudi Arabia discuss treaty on mutual assistance for criminal investigations.