Police Reforms – SC directives, NPC, other committees reports

What are Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs)?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs)

Mains level: Prevention of juvenile crimes

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.

What are 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

  • It enhances the effectiveness of participating countries in the investigation and prosecution of crime, through cooperation and mutual legal assistance.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Enforcing MLATs in India

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is the nodal Ministry and the Central authority for seeking and providing mutual legal assistance in criminal law matters.
  • The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) may be involved in this process when such requests are routed through diplomatic channels by these Ministries.
  • Section 105 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) speaks of reciprocal arrangements to be made by the Centre with the Foreign Governments


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