Mutual Legal Assistance – UPSC Prelims

What is Mutual Legal Assistance?
  • Mutual Legal Assistance is a mechanism whereby countries cooperate with one another in order to provide and obtain formal assistance in prevention, suppression, investigation and prosecution of crime.
  • This ensures 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 of mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.
  • The Central Authority transmits and receives all requests for assistance either directly or through diplomatic channels.
  • The Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs) in criminal matters are the bilateral treaties entered between the countries for providing international cooperation and assistance.
What is Letters Rogatory (LR)?
The term ‘Letters Rogatory’ is derived from the Latin term rogatorius. Letters Rogatory are the letters of request sent by the Court of one country to the Court of another country for obtaining assistance in investigation or prosecution of a criminal matter.
Difference between Mutual Legal Assistance and Letter Rogatory(LR)