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Submitted to:
Dr. P.P. Rao

Submitted by:
Garima Jain
IXth Semester

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Research Methodology
Aims and Objectives:
The aim of the project is to present a detailed study of Service of Documents Abroad.
Scope and Limitations:
The project is basically based on the doctrinal method of research as no field work is done on
this particular topic. The whole project is made with the use of the secondary sources.
Method of Writing:
The method of writing followed in the course of this research paper is primarily analytical and
Mode of Citation:
The researcher has followed uniform form of citation throughout the course of this research
Sources of Data:
The following secondary sources of data have been used in the project1. Books
2. Websites

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It gives me incredible pleasure to present a research work on the case study of Service of
Documents Abroad. I would like to enlighten my readers regarding this topic and I have tried
my best to pave the way for bringing more luminosity to this topic.
I am grateful to my faculty in charge Dr. P.P. Rao who has encouraged me to complete this
project. I would like to thank the librarian of CNLU for their interest in providing me ample
research material.
-Garima Jain

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INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................... 2
LETTER OF REQUEST.................................................................................................. 3
HAGUE SERVICE CONVENTION................................................................................... 5
Objective of the Hague Convention:.....................................................................6
Central Authority designated under the Hague Convention:.................................7
Reservation / declaration made by India to the Hague Convention:........................7
The procedure for taking evidence in India:............................................................8
Pre-trial discovery of documents:............................................................................ 9
Approach of Indian courts:...................................................................................... 9
INDIA and USA.......................................................................................................... 14
Service of Process................................................................................................. 14
Criminal Matters.................................................................................................... 14
Obtaining Evidence in Civil and Commercial Matters............................................14
Voluntary Disposition of Willing Witnesses............................................................15
Authentication of documents................................................................................15
MUTUAL LEGAL ASSISTANCE TREATY........................................................................16
CONCLUSION............................................................................................................ 19

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India became a party to the Hague Convention of 15 November 1965 on the Service Abroad of
Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters, and also the Hague
Convention of 18 March 1970 on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial
Matters in 2007.
India is a party to the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil and


The Indian







Convention designated to receive letters of request for the taking of evidence is the Ministry of
Law and Justice and all the High Courts in all States and Union Territories in India.
Evidence may be obtained in India in two ways: by the letters rogatory process or under the
Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters. The
convention codifies the taking of evidence on notice and commission and the compulsion of
evidence pursuant to a letter of request. Under the convention, a judicial authority in the United
States sends a letter of request to the appropriate Indian Central Authority in accordance with the
convention. For criminal cases (letters rogatory), that authority is the Ministry of Home Affairs
(I S - II Div: Legal Cell, 9th floor, Lok Nayak Bhawan, Khan Market, New Delhi. For civil cases
(Hague Convention), that authority is the Ministry of Law and Justice (Dept of Legal Affairs,
4th floor, A-Wing, Shastri Bhavan, New Delhi).1
The Hague Service Convention provides for a simpler procedure for the transmission of judicial
and extrajudicial documents from one signatory country to the other signatory country. Prior to
the enactment of the Hague Convention, the service of process was effected by means of Letter
Rogatory. 2

1 Obtaining Evidence,


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Letters of Request / Rogatory is a formal communication in writing sent by the Court in which
action is pending to a foreign court or Judge requesting the testimony of a witness residing
within the jurisdiction of that foreign court may be formally taken thereon under its direction and
transmitted to the issuing court making such request for use in a pending legal contest or action.
This request entirely depends upon the comity of courts towards each other and usages of the
court of another nation.3
These are the customary method of obtaining judicial assistance from abroad in the absence of a
treaty or executive agreement for criminal cases. Essentially, courts in one country use these
documents to request the performance of an act to the judiciary of a foreign country which, if
done without the sanction of the foreign court, could constitute a violation of that country's
sovereignty. Some types of letters include serving of a summons, subpoena, or other legal
notice, or the execution of a civil judgment. These requests must be signed by a judge and
transmitted via the Department of Justice, Office of International Affairs (DOJ/OIA) to the
Ministry of Home Affairs.
India became a party to the Hague Convention of 15 November 1965 on the Service Abroad of
Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters, and also the Hague
Convention of 18 March 1970 on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial
Matters in 2007.
The Letter of request to take depositions should be modeled on the Hague Model Letter of
Request and submitted to the Indian Central Authority designated for the Hague Convention 3.
Article 3 of the Hague Convention provides that a Letter of Request shall specify:

2 Helpline Law,


Union of India v. W.N. Chadha, AIR 1993 SC 1082.

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(a) the authority requesting its execution and the authority requested to execute it, if known to
the requesting authority;
(b) the names and addresses of the parties to the proceedings and their representatives, if any;
(c) the nature of the proceedings for which the evidence is required, giving all necessary
information in regard thereto;
(d) the evidence to be obtained or other judicial act to be performed.
Where appropriate, the Letter shall specify, inter alia:
(e) the names and addresses of the persons to be examined;
(f) the questions to be put to the persons to be examined or a statement of the subject matter
about which they are to be examined;
(g) the documents or other property; real or personal, to be inspected;
(h) any requirement that the evidence is to be given on oath or affirmation, and any special form
to be used;
(i) any special method or procedure to be followed under Article 9.
A letter may also mention any information necessary for the application of Article 11. No
legalization or other like formality may be required.
A Letter of Request coming from a judicial authority of a Contracting State will be received in
another Contracting State by a designated Central Authority who shall then transmit the Letter to
the authority competent to execute them. The Letter shall be sent to the Central Authority of the
State of execution without being transmitted through any other authority of that State (Article 2).
Whom to address? The Letter of Request must be addressed to the appropriate High Court in
India within whose jurisdiction the witness resides. There are at present 21 High Courts for 28
States in India. The Request must clearly mention the address of the witness.
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A Letter of Request cannot be used to obtain evidence which is not intended for use in judicial
proceedings, commenced or contemplated. A Letter of Request may be issued to obtain evidence
or to perform some other judicial act, in civil or commercial matters, by a judicial authority of a
Contracting State in accordance with the provisions of the law of that State to the competent
authority of another Contracting State (Article 1). The expression "other judicial act" does not
cover the service of judicial documents or the issuance of any process by which judgments or
orders are executed or enforced, or orders for provisional or protective measures.

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The Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil
or Commercial Matters 1965.
The Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil
or Commercial Matters 1965 ["Service Convention"] entered into force in India in 2007. India
has made a reservation to the Convention objecting to service of process by mail, or directly on
defendants through judicial officers in India (i.e. advocate or private process server) without the
involvement of the designated Central Authority. Further, the documents for service must be
written in English.
Under the Service Convention, a Central Authority is designated and all requests for service can
be sent to it. The request for service of documents should be in English language or accompanied
by an English translation. The service of judicial documents through diplomatic or consular
channels is limited to the nationals of the State in which the documents originate.
The request should be modeled along the lines of the model annexed to the Hague Service
Convention. The authority or judicial officer competent under the law of the state of origin must
send the document to the Central Authority of the relevant state. The Central Authority would
then either execute the service itself or arrange for it to be executed by other means provided in
Article 5 of the Service Convention.
The Central Authority for service is the Ministry of Law and Justice, Department of Legal
Affairs situated at 4th Floor, A-Wing, Shastri Bhavan, New Delhi, 110001, India.
C. The Hague Convention of 18 March 1970 on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil and
Commercial Matters [the Hague Convention].

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Objective of the Hague Convention:

The Hague Convention was concluded to facilitate the transmission and execution of Letters of
Request and to further the accommodation of the different methods used for this purpose in order
to improve mutual judicial cooperation in civil or commercial matters.
Signatories to the Hague Convention have agreed to discovery of documents and testimony.
Under Hague Convention discovery of documents can be sought by means of a Letter of
Request, issued by the court where the action is pending and transmitted to the "Central
Authority" of the jurisdiction where the discovery is located. The Central Authority responsible
for transmitting the request to the appropriate judicial body for a response (Articles 1 and 2). A
Letter of Request can also be issued for seeking deposition testimony to be taken before a
diplomatic or consular officer (Article 3).
The contracting States to the Hague Convention are required to establish a Central Authority
responsible for accepting and processing Letters of Request from other contracting States.

Central Authority designated under the Hague Convention:

India, pursuant to Article 2 of the Hague Convention, has designated a Central Authority to
receive Letters of Request from a judicial authority of another Contracting State and to transmit
them to the authority competent to execute them. The Central Authority designated by India for
this purpose is:

The Ministry of Law and Justice and the High Courts in all states and union territories in
India (under Articles 2, 16 and 17).

The district court in whose territory the evidence is to be taken (under Article 18).

The Central Authority and the relevant court (under Article 8).

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The Ministry of Law and Justice, Department of Legal Affairs is situated at 4th floor, A-Wing,
Shastri Bhavan, New Delhi, India.

Reservation / declaration made by India to the Hague

India has spelt out its reservations ("declaration") under the Hague Convention in the following

All requests under the Convention shall be in the English language, or accompanied with
an English translation.

Subject to prior authorization of the Central Authority and the concerned court, members
of the judicial personnel of the requesting Contracting Party may be present at the
execution of a letter of request.

Evidence by diplomatic officers or consular agents of Indian nationals or nationals of a

third State under Article 16 of the Convention can be taken with the prior permission of
the Central Authority.

In accordance with Article 18, a diplomatic or consular officer or a commissioner

authorized under Article 15, 16 and 17 may apply for appropriate assistance to obtain the
evidence by compulsion to the District Court within whose territory the evidence is to be

The Republic of India will not execute Letters of Request issued in pursuance of Article 23 of the
Convention for the purpose of obtaining pre-trial discovery of documents, which requires a
person to produce any documents other than particular documents specified in the Letter of
Request, which are likely to be in his possession, custody or power.

The procedure for taking evidence in India:

Upon issuance of a Letter of Request by a foreign court which is normally addressed to the High
Court in the appellate jurisdiction in which the witness is situated, the concerned High Court
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would appoint a commissioner and issue a direction to him as it may deem fit and appropriate.
The fee of the commissioner is normally borne by the party seeking to take evidence. The
Commissioner would fix a date for recording of the evidence. The evidence is recorded in the
manner desired by the foreign court. After the recording of the evidence the Commissioner
would have to file the evidence with the High Court. The High Court would either forward it to
the central government which would transmit it to the foreign court issuing the request or may
allow the entire record of the Commissioner's report be transmitted by the applicant directly to
the foreign court.

Pre-trial discovery of documents:

Article 23 of the Hague Convention specifically provides that a contracting State could make a
declaration "that it will not execute Letters of Request issued for the purpose of obtaining pretrial discovery of documents as known in Common Law countries."
Contracting States which have executed a declaration under Article 23 are:
Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, China, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany,
Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway,
Poland, Portugal, Romania, South Africa, Seychelles, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden,
Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Venezuela
Expression "Evidence" includes production of documents:
The expression "Evidence" is confined to one or other mode of evidence and it extends to both
oral testimony as well as production of documents through the named witnesses. The Delhi High
Court in the Upaid Systems Ltd.4 case held that there was nothing in Order 26 Rule 19 of the
CPC to limit the language to only "oral evidence" and eschew documentary evidence which may
come within the expression "evidence"; nor was there any warrant to interpret the provision in
the light of subsequently ratified convention, with declaration, by India. Indian law even permits

Upaid Systems Ltd. v. Satyam Computer Services, (2009) 164 DLT 45.

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through Order 11 Rules 12 to 14 CPC, courts to direct disclosure/discovery of documents which

may later be determined to be inadmissible or irrelevant.5

Approach of Indian courts:

The power to legislate in respect of treaties lies with the Parliament under Entries 10 and 14 of
List I of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India. Even though the Indian Parliament
has not enacted a special law to give effect to the Hague Convention, it would not take away the
courts power to act on a Letter of Request in terms of the provisions of Order 26, Rules 19 to 22
of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC).6 Further, Article 27 of the Hague Convention provides
that the Convention would not affect any existing law a contracting state may have on the
An international treaty entered into by India cannot become law of the land and it cannot be
implemented unless Indian Parliament passes a law.7 The Indian Supreme Court in Kesoram
Industries case8 relied on the decision in Corocraft Ltd. v. Pan American Airways Inc.9, wherein
Lord Denning observed that it is the duty of the courts to construe the legislation so as to be in
conformity with international law and not in conflict with it. It is one thing to say that legislation
may be interpreted in conformity with international principles but is entirely a different thing to
give effect to a treaty provision in the absence of municipal laws.
In Wooster Products Inc v. Magna Tek Inc,10 the court observed: "The question of relevance has
to be decided not in accordance with Indian Law but law of the Foreign Court where civil

M.L. Sethi v. R.P. Kapoor, AIR 1972 SC 2379.

Supra note 2.

State of West Bengal v. Kesoram Industries, (2004) 10 SCC 201.

8 Ibid.

[1969] 1 All ER 82.


(1988) 2 ARB LR 184 (Delhi).

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proceedings are pending and it would be beyond jurisdiction of this court to adjudicate upon the
question of relevance of the said documents"
The Indian government has in its response to a questionnaire on the Hague Convention adopted
the stand that the implementation of the convention into municipal laws of India is through
section 78 and Order 26, Rule 19 to 22 of the CPC.
Section 78 of the CPC deals with commissions issued by foreign Courts and reads as under:
"Section 78: Commissions issued by foreign courts. Subject to such conditions and limitations as
may be prescribed, the provisions as to the execution and return of commissions for the
examination of witnesses shall apply to commissions issued by or at the instance of(a) Courts situate in any part of India to which the provisions of this Code do not extend; or
(b) Courts established or continued by the authority of the Central Government outside India; or
(c) Courts of any State or country outside India".
Section 78 of the CPC must be read with Order 26 Rules 19 to 22. The object of Section 78(c) of
CPC is to facilitate collection of evidence pursuant to a request received from a foreign court.
Order 26 Rule 16 provides for the powers of the commissioner including power to call for
documents. Rule 16 refers to express powers of a commissioner to (a) examine the parties
themselves and any witness whom they or any of them may produce, and any other person whom
he thinks proper to call upon to give evidence in the matter referred to him; and (b) call for and
examine documents and other things relevant to the subject of inquiry. Rules 16 states:
"16. Powers of Commissioners.- Any Commissioner appointed under this Order may, unless
otherwise directed by the order of appointment,(a) examine the parties themselves and any witness whom they or any of them may produce, and
any other person whom the Commissioner thinks proper to call upon to give evidence in the
matter referred to him;
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(b) call for and examine documents and other things relevant to the subject of inquiry;
(c) at any reasonable time enter upon or into any land or building mentioned in the order."
Order 26, Rules 19 to 22 of the CPC specifically deals with Letters of Request issued by a
foreign court for taking evidence of witnesses residing in India. Rule 19 specifically deals with
cases in which a High Court may issue commission to examine witness.
"19. Cases in which High Court may issue Commission to examine witness-(1) If a High Court is
satisfied(a) that a foreign court situated in a foreign country wishes to obtain the evidence of a witness in
any proceedings before it,
(b) that the proceeding is of a civil nature, and
(c) that the witness is residing within the limits of the High Court's appellate jurisdiction, it may,
subject to the provisions of Rule 20, issue a commission for the examination of such witness.
(2) Evidence may be given of the matters specified in clauses (a), (b) and (e) of sub- rule (1)(a) by a certificate signed by the consular officer of the foreign country of the highest rank in
India and transmitted to the High Court through the Central Government, or
(b) by a letter of request issued by the foreign court and transmitted to the High Court through
the Central Government, or
(c) by a letter of request issued by the foreign court and produced before the High Court by a
party to the proceedings."
Power to appoint a commissioner is established under Order 26, Rule 19 of CPC notwithstanding
that the treaty is not incorporated into the municipal laws. A reading of Order 26, Rule 19 would
reveal that the courts in India, upon receiving a request from a foreign court for assistance have
to satisfy itself three conditions:

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(a) the proceeding is in the foreign court;

(b) it is a "civil" (as opposed to a criminal proceeding) proceeding and;
(c) the witness whose deposition is sought lives within its jurisdiction.
Rules 20, 21 and 22 of Order 26 of the Code of Civil Procedure read as follows:
"Rule 20: Application for issue of commission- The High Court may issue a commission under
Rule 19:
(a) upon application by a party to the proceedings before the foreign court, or
(b) upon an application by a law officer of the State Government acting under instructions from
the State Government"
Rule 21: To whom commission may be issued. A commission under Rule 19 may be issued to
any court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the witness resides, of where the witness
resides within the local limits of (the ordinary original civil jurisdiction of the High Court) to any
person whom the court thinks fit to execute the commission.
Rule 22: Issue, execution and return of Commissions and transmission of evidence of foreign
The provisions of Rules 6, 15, sub-rule (1) of Rules 16-A, 17, 18 and 18-B of this Order in so far
as they are applicable shall apply to the issue, execution and return of such commissions, and
when any such commission has been duly executed it shall be returned, together with the
evidence taken under it, to the High Court, which shall forward it to the Central Government,
along with the letter of request for transmission to the foreign court."
The court within whose jurisdiction the witness resides will be the appropriate court to execute
the letter of request. Simply because a witness has not been specified in the letter of request
issued by a foreign court would not make the request unenforceable especially in the light of the
language of Order 26 Rule 19 read along with Rules 17, 20, 21 and 22.
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Service of Process
India is a party to the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra Judicial
Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters. Complete information on the operation of the
Convention, including an interactive online request form are available on the Hague Conference
website. Requests should be completed in duplicate and submitted with two sets of the
documents to be served, and translations, directly to Indias Central Authority for the Hague
Service Convention. The person in the United States executing the request form should be either
an attorney or clerk of court. The applicant should include the titles attorney at law or clerk of
court on the identity and address of applicant and signature/stamp fields. In its Declarations and
Reservations on the Hague Service Convention, India formally objected to service under Article
10, and does not permit service via postal channels.

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Criminal Matters
Prosecution Requests: U.S. federal or state prosecutors should also contact the Office of
International Affairs, Criminal Division, Department of Justice for guidance.
Defense Requests in Criminal Matters: Criminal defendants or their defense counsel seeking
judicial assistance in obtaining evidence or in effecting service of documents abroad in
connection with criminal matters may do so via the letters rogatory process.

Obtaining Evidence in Civil and Commercial Matters

Requests for the compulsion of evidence under the Hague Evidence Convention are transmitted
directly from the requesting court or person in the United States to the Indian Central Authority
and do not require transmittal via diplomatic channels. Letters of Request and accompanying
documents should be prepared in duplicate. See Indias Declarations and Reservations regarding
the Hague Evidence Convention.
Requests from India to Obtain Evidence in the United States: The U.S. Central Authority for the
Hague Evidence Convention is the Office of International Judicial Assistance, Civil Division,
Department of Justice, 1100 L St., N.W., Room 11006, Washington, D.C. 20530.

Voluntary Disposition of Willing Witnesses

Voluntary depositions may be conducted in India of U.S. citizens without permission of the
Indian Central Authority for the Hague Evidence Convention. Voluntary depositions of Indian
nationals and third country nationals require prior permission of the Indian Central Authority for
the Hague Evidence Convention. Oral depositions or depositions on written questions may be
taken by U.S. consular officers or by private attorneys at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate or at
another location such as a hotel or office, either on notice or pursuant to a commission. If the
services of a U.S. consular officer are required to administer an oath to the witness, interpreter
and stenographer, such arrangements must be made in advance with the U.S. embassy directly.

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Authentication of documents
India is a party to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalization of Foreign
Public Documents. Indias competent authority for the Hague Apostille Convention will
authenticate Indian public documents with Apostilles. For information about authenticating U.S.
public documents for use in India, see the list of U.S. Competent Authorities. To obtain an
Apostille for a U.S. Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of
America, contact the U.S. Department of State, Passport Services, Vital Records Office.11


Section 105 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) speaks of reciprocal arrangements to be made
by Central Government with the Foreign Governments with regard to the service of
summons/warrants/judicial processes. The Ministry of Home Affairs has entered into Mutual
Legal Assistance Treaty/Agreements with 22 countries which provide for serving of documents.
These countries are Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, Canada, Kazakhastan, United Arab
Emirates, Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Mongolia, Thailand, France, Bahrain, South
Korea, United States of America, Singapore, South Africa, Mauritius, Belarus, Spain and
11 Legal Considerations,

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Kuwait.12 In other cases the ministry makes a request on the basis of assurance of reciprocity to
the concerned foreign government through the mission / Embassy. The difference between the
two categories of the countries is that the country having MLAT has obligation to consider
serving the documents whereas the non-MLAT countries does not have any obligation to
consider such a request. Summons/notices/judicial processes issued by the Indian Courts.
The summons/warrants/judicial processes received by MHA are forwarded to the concerned
Indian Missions/Embassies which in turn, takes up the matter with the designated authority in
that country. In case of MLAT countries, the manner of communication is as laid down in MLAT
and can be either directly between MHA and the Central Authority or can be through the
diplomatic channel. The designated authority after considering the request directs its agency to
serve the document on the concerned person and the report of the service, if any is also received
through the same chain. This is broadly the system in majority of the countries. However, in
some countries private companies/NGOs have also been entrusted with the service of judicial
Based on the experience gained, some guidelines are given below which may be followed while
making a request to MHA for service of judicial processes. It may, however, be noted that it is
the discretion of the requested country to serve the documents and any time frame for a positive
response cannot be predicted.
All requests for service of summons/notices/judicial processes on persons residing abroad shall
be addressed to the Under Secretary(Legal), IS-II Division, Ministry of Home Affairs, 9th Floor,
Lok Nayak Bhawan, New Delhi- 110003. All requests shall be forwarded through post only with
a covering letter from the Registrar/Court official giving the following information:13
a) Material facts of the criminal matter including purpose of the request and the nature of the
assistance sought.

12Legal Cell, Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs 2,

13 Ibid.
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b) The offences alleged to have been committed, a copy of the applicable laws and maximum
penalties for these offence. c) Name, designation, telephone and fax number of the person/officer
who will be able to give any clarification, if required.
c) The complete address of the issuing authority to which the judicial papers/service reports may
be returned.
d) Approval of the competent authority to bear any expenditure, which they be charged by the
foreign government/agency for the service of the documents.
e) Degree of confidentiality required and the reasons therefore(in case of confidentiality
f) Any time limit within which the request should be executed. This will be subject to allowance
of sufficient margin of time by the requesting agency, as indicated in para 3(iv) of the guidelines
g) MHA, on receipt of request, will examine it in view of the provisions of treaty, if exists, with
the requested country and as per the provision of CrPC in case of non-treaty country.
h) India has a MLAT with Singapore and the Govt. of Singapore has prescribed a proforma
which shall be completely filled and sent alongwith the request for service of judicial documents.
The said proforma is at Annexure 1 to these guidelines.
i) MHA requires at least a period of 12 weeks times for service of such notices in the concerned
countries. It is, therefore imperative that a date of hearing/appearance may be decided
j) In the case of non English speaking countries, the notices should be accompanied with the
certified/authenticated translation(in duplicate) in the official language of the country where the
notice is proposed to be served.
k) Name and address of the individual/organization should be complete in all respect and PO
BOX no. and Passport no. will not suffice as address of the individual.
l) Ministry of Home Affairs responsibility to service the summons is only in Criminal Matters.
Hence, summons in Criminal matters only may be sent to the Ministry for service abroad.
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m) MHA does not undertake service of the non-bailable warrants of arrest. The service of nonbailable arrest warrents amounts to the extradition of the individual. The request for extradition
are based on certain legal procedures contained in applicable treaties negotiated on the basis of
the International Principle of Extradition. Such requests are to be forwarded to the Ministry of
External Affairs, CPV Division, Patiala House Annexe, Tilak Marg, New Delhi 110001.
SUMMONS ISSUED BY THE FOREIGN COURTS/AUTHORITIES:The summons issued by the Foreign Courts/Authorities and received in MHA will be served by
the State Police through CBI-Interpol. However, Mission/MEA while forwarded such requests to
MHA will ensure that:-14
a) The summon is followed with a translated copy in the Indian language.
b) A reasonable time say 10 weeks is allowed after the summons are received in the Ministry of
Home Affairs.
c) An Assurance of Reciprocity(AOR) is followed from the countries which insist for the same in
respect of Indian Summons.

Order 26 Rule 19 and 20 do not confer any power upon Indian courts to go into a proprietary of
the letter of request or the questions of relevance or admissibility of the evidence. The questions
of relevancy and admissibility are to be considered by the court issuing the letter of request. The
very fact that the letter of request had been issued implies that it has been issued after taking into
account the question of relevance and admissibility as well by the foreign court. Indian court
would not sit in appeal over the orders of foreign court on this aspect of the matter10.
14 Ibid.
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One of the fundamental purposes of the Hague Convention is to ensure that judicial and
extrajudicial documents are brought to the notice of the addressee in sufficient time. The
Convention does not prescribe any substantial rules for the actual process for service of
documents. The Service Convention is of a non-mandatory but exclusive character. The
Contracting States can choose any other mode for service of their documents. The effectiveness
and the wide usage of the Convention had been confirmed by the Special Committee which
reviewed its practical operation.

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