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The Centre has issued revised guidelines for mutual legal assistance in criminal matters with other nations as part of the government's policy of zero tolerance for crime and its endeavour to fast track the dispensation of justice.

India has Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties, MLAT with 42 countries and is signatory to various International Conventions for cooperation in criminal matters. Home Ministry is the designated central authority for the country.

Under the MLAT, a country can request for obtaining evidence for criminal investigations and prosecutions. The evidence includes witness statements or the service of documents among others.

Home Ministry said, by incorporating various legal and technological developments in recent years, it aims to make the documentation more compliant with international requirements. The revised guidelines provide step-by-step guidance to the investigation agencies for drafting and processing letters rogatory or mutual legal assistance requests and service of summons, notices and other judicial documents.

The guidelines have taken into account the concerns raised by various courts for prompt and timely responses in service of documents to person residing abroad. These revised guidelines have provision for service of documents to authorities of foreign country preferably within ten days of receipt of request in respect of offences committed against women and children.




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