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Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties

Context:

The CBI is in the process of sending requests to several countries seeking information under the MLATs about those involved in the online sexual abuse of minors and circulation of child pornographic material on social media platforms.

Relevance:

GS II- International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About MLATs
  2. Benefits of Treaty
  3. Enforcement of MLAT in India

About MLATs

  • The MLATs in criminal matters are the bilateral treaties entered between the countries for providing international cooperation and assistance.
  • These agreements allow for the exchange of evidence and information in criminal and related matters between the signing countries.

Benefits of Treaty

  •  Enhances the effectiveness:
    • It enhances the effectiveness of participating countries in the investigation and prosecution of crime, through cooperation and mutual legal assistance.
  • Broad legal framework:
    • It will provide a broad legal framework for tracing, restrain and confiscation of proceeds and instruments of crime as well as the funds meant to finance terrorist acts.
  • Instrumental in gaining better inputs:
    • It will be instrumental in gaining better inputs and insights in the modus operandi of organized criminals and terrorists.
  • These in turn can be used to fine-tune policy decisions in the field of internal security.

Enforcement of MLAT in India

Nodal Ministry in India:

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is the central authority and nodal ministry for seeking and providing mutual legal help in criminal law situations.
  • When such requests are handled through diplomatic channels by these Ministries, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) may be involved in the process.

Legal basis:

  • Section 105 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) mentions the Centre’s obligation to make reciprocal arrangements with other governments.

-Source: The Hindu


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