Letters Rogatory (letter of request) is a formal communication in writing sent by the Court in which action is pending to a foreign court or Judge requesting for some type of judicial assistance. The most common remedies sought by LRs are serving legal notices and taking of evidence.1,2
Letters Rogatory is forwarded within the ambit of Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)/ Arrangement etc. existing between India and requested country, or on basis of reciprocity in case no such treaty and MoU exists. In certain cases, it may also be possible to use the provisions of an International Convention, to which both India and the requested country are signatory for sending such Letters Rogatory.2
It is important to note that no request for issue of Letters Rogatory (Letter of Request) should be brought before any Court by an Investigation Agency without prior concurrence of the Central Authority i.e. the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).2
- In Feb 2012, the CBI sent LRs to four countries to investigate the money trail in the Maran-Aircel Maxis case.3
- In Feb 2012, it was reported that the NIA (National Investigative Agnecy) will send LRs to Morocco seeking permission to question David Headley’s Moroccon wife. 4
- CBI had sent LR to Swedish Authorities to record the statements of an Israeli drug-dealer’s girlfriend.5.
- In the Bofors' case a letter of rogatory was issued with request to authorities in Switzerland for freezing certain bank accounts.2