The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for signing and ratification of the agreement on mutual legal and judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters with Oman.

Background:

The Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) in Civil and Commercial matters is a comprehensive agreement for reciprocal arrangement with foreign countries for service of summons, for execution of Civil Decrees, for issuing Letter of Request, for taking of evidence under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC) and for enforcement of Arbitral Awards under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.

This agreement was under negotiation since 2003. All the provisions in the draft MLAT in Civil and Commercial Matters were agreed upon during the visit of the Indian delegation to Oman in 2010.

All you need to know about the Agreement:

The features are –

  • Service of judicial orders, summons and other legal and judicial documents or processes.
  • Taking of evidence through request.
  • Execution of judgments, settlements and arbitral awards.
  • The agreement also applies to any request for reciprocal legal assistance relating to civil and commercial matters submitted before or after its entry into force.
  • Service of summons and other judicial documents shall not be refused on the ground that the request does not show sufficient grounds supporting merits of the case, unless the requested State, considers that compliance with the request would infringe its sovereignty, security or public policy.
  • This agreement also deals with “taking of evidence by Diplomatic and Consular representatives” from nationals of the country they represent, without compulsion, in order to help in the completion of judicial proceedings commenced in the courts of the country they represent.
  • The agreement shall come into force on the 30th day after the exchange of the Instrument of Ratification. It shall remain in force until terminated by either party by giving six months prior notice and the provisions of agreement are in conformity with the provisions of the CPC, 1908 and the Arbitration and Cancellation Act, 1996.

Significance:

This agreement will be beneficial for citizens of both the countries. It will also fulfill the desire of both countries to strengthen the bonds of friendship and fruitful cooperation in the judicial and legal spheres, which are the spirit, essence and language of the preamble of the agreement.