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.
The salient features of the proposed agreement are:
i. Service of judicial orders, summons and other
ii. \legal and judicial documents or processes.
iii. Taking of evidence through request.
iv. Execution of judgments, settlements and arbitral awards.
v. 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.
vi. 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.
vii. 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.
viii. 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’ notice; and
ix. the provisions of agreement are in conformity with the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and the Arbitration and Cancellation Act, 1996.
This agreement will be beneficial for citizens of both 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 is the spirit, essence and language of the preamble of the agreement.
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 under Section 29(c) of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908(CPC), for execution of Civil Decrees under Section 44 A of the CPC, for issuing Letter of Request under Section 77 of the CPC, for taking of evidence under Section 78 of the CPC and for enforcement of Arbitral Awards under Section 44 (b) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.
This agreement was under negotiation since 2003. During the visit of the Indian delegation to Oman, to Muscat, from 16-18 May, 2010, negotiations were held and subsequently all provisions in the draft Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in Civil and Commercial Matters were agreed upon.
The provisions of the agreement are in conformity with the provisions of the C.P.C. and the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. No amendment in these enactments would be required. The Code of Civil Procedure does not discriminate between citizens of India and alien friends.