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India and the United States sign treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in criminal matters

October 17, 2001
New Delhi  

The Government of India and the Government of the United States of America are pleased to announce that they have signed today a new bilateral Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters. The signing of the Treaty represents an important step forward in India-US law enforcement and counter-terrorism cooperation.


The Treaty will enhance the ability of the two countries to pursue their common objective of law enforcement by putting in place a regularized channel for obtaining law enforcement assistance from each other. Such a channel will simplify and expedite the process of obtaining responses to requests for assistance. It will also improve implementation of the bilateral Extradition Treaty between the two countries that entered into force on July 21, 1999.


During discussions between the two delegations that led to the conclusion of this Treaty, both sides expressed their determination to redouble efforts to eradicate the scourge of terrorism and to use this Treaty as an instrument to that end. It is the two governments’ common view that the "Political Offense" exception to mutual legal assistance should not apply to violent terrorist attacks against non-combatant targets.


Similarly, the Treaty constitutes an important step in the efforts of both countries to work together to combat other serious crimes. While the two countries have co-operated in the past in the fight against such crimes, this Treaty will provide a broader legal basis and enhanced procedural mechanisms to enable both countries to provide assistance in connection with the investigation, prosecution, prevention, and suppression of these offenses.


The United States and India look forward to bringing this important Treaty into force in the near future and to strengthening their cooperation in law enforcement.