MUTUAL ASSISTANCE IN CRIMINAL MATTERS ACT

Arrangement of Sections

1.        Short title.

PART I

APPLICATION OF THE ACT AND REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE

2.        Application of the Act.

3.        Object of the Act.

4.        Central Authority.

5.        Applications made by a specified country.

6.        Refusal of assistance.

PART II

ASSISTANCE IN RELATION TO LOCATING AND IDENTIFYING PERSONS

7.        Assistance in relation to locating and identifying persons.

PART III

ASSISTANCE IN RELATION TO THE SERVICE OF SUMMONS AND OTHER DOCUMENTS

8.        Request by a specified country for service of any process or document in Sri Lanka.

9.        Request by the Central Authority for service in a specified country.

PART IV

ASSISTANCE IN RELATION TO TAKING OF EVIDENCE AND PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS OR OTHER ARTICLES

10.      Request by a specified country for evidence to be taken and documents to be produced in Sri Lanka.

11.      Request by Central Authority for evidence to be taken in and documents to be produced in a specified country.

PART V

ARRANGEMENTS FOR PERSONS TO GIVE EVIDENCE OR ASSIST INVESTIGATIONS

12.      Request by a specified country for prisoner in Sri Lanka to give evidence or assist investigation.

13.      Request by the Central Authority for prisoner or other person in specified country to give evidence or assist an investigation.

14.      Immunity from prosecution of persons brought to Sri Lanka.

PART VI

ASSISTANCE IN RELATION TO SEARCH AND SEIZURE

15.      Request by a specified country for search and seizure.

16.      Request by Sri Lanka for search and seizure

PART VII

TRACING PROCEEDS OF CRIME AND ENFORCEMENT OF ORDERS

17.      Request by a specified country for tracing proceeds of crime.

18.      Request by Sri Lanka for tracing proceeds of crime.

19.      Request by a specified country for enforcement of orders of court.

20.      Requests by Sri Lanka for enforcement of orders of court.

PART VIII

GENERAL

21.      Authentication of documents.

22.      Regulations.

23.      Sinhala text to prevail on case of inconsistency.

24.      Interpretation.

SCHEDULE

25 of 2002.

AN ACT to provide for the rendering of assistance in criminal matters by Sri Lanka and specified countries; and for matters connected therewith or incidental, thereto.

[Date of Commencement: 22nd October, 2002]

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act.

PART I

Application of the Act and Request for Assistance

2. Application of the Act.

(1) The Minister may, by Order published in the Gazette, declare that the provisions of this Act, shall apply in respect of any Commonwealth country specified therein.

(2) Every Order made under subsection (1) shall come into force on the date of publication of such Order in the Gazette or on such later date as may be specified therein.

(3) Where an agreement has been entered into between Sri Lanka and any Non-Commonwealth country, whether before or after the date of commencement of this Act, for Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, the Minister may, by Order published in the Gazette, declare that the provisions of this Act shall apply in respect of such Non-Commonwealth country, subject to such limitations and conditions as the Minister may, having regard to the terms of such agreement, deem expedient to specify in the Order, for the purpose only of giving effect to the terms of such agreement.

(4) Every Order made under subsection (3) shall recite the terms of the agreement in consequence of which it was made, and shall come into force on the date of publication of the Order in the Gazette or on such later date as may be specified therein, and shall remain in force so long only as the agreement in consequence of which the Order was made remains in force.

(5) Every Order made under subsection (1) or subsection (3) shall as soon as convenient after its publication in the Gazette, be brought before parliament for approval. Any Order which is not so approved shall be deemed to be rescinded with effect from the date of its disapproval, but without prejudice to anything previously done thereunder.

(6) Notification of the date on which an Order under subsection (1) or subsection (3) is deemed to be rescinded shall be published in the Gazette.

(7) Every Commonwealth country or Non-Commonwealth country in respect of which an order is made under subsection (1) of subsection (3) and is for the time being in force is hereinafter referred to as “a specified country”.

3. Object of the Act.

The object of this Act is to facilitate the provision and obtaining, by Sri Lanka of assistance in criminal matters including—

(a)  the location and identification of witnesses or suspects;

(b)  the service of documents;

(c)  the examination of witnesses;

(d)  the obtaining of evidence, documents or other articles:

(e)  the execution of requests for search and seizure;

(f)   the effecting of a temporary transfer of a person in custody to appear as a witness;

(g)  the facilitation of the personal appearance of witnesses:

(h)  the provision of documents and other records:

(i)   the location, of the proceeds of any criminal activity;

(j)   the enforcement of orders for the payment of fines or for the forfeiture of freezing of property.

4. Central Authority.

The Secretary to the Ministry of the Minister in charge of the subject of justice shall be the Central Authority for the purposes of this Act (hereinafter referred to as “the Central Authority”).

5. Applications made by a specified country.

An application made to the Central Authority by the appropriate authority of a specified country requesting assistance in relation to a criminal matter falling within a jurisdiction of a criminal court in that country, shall not be entertained by the Central Authority, unless—

(a)  such application is made substantially in the appropriate form set out in the Schedule to this Act; and

(b)  such application is accompanied by such documents as may be specified for that purpose by the Central Authority.

6. Refusal of assistance.

(1) A request by the appropriate authority of a specified country for assistance under this Act shall be refused, in whole or in part, if in the opinion of the Central Authority—

(a)  the request relates to the prosecution or punishment of a person in respect of an act or omission which, if it had occurred in Sri Lanka would not have constituted an offence under the law of Sri Lanka;

(b)  the request relates to the prosecution or punishment of a person for an offence of a political character;

(c)  the request relates to the prosecution or punishment of a person in respect of an act or omission which if it had occurred in Sri Lanka, would have constituted an offence only under the military law of Sri Lanka;

(d)  the request relates to the prosecution of a person for an offence where, such person has been acquitted or convicted in accordance with the law of Sri Lanka in respect of that offence or another offence constituted by the same act or omission as that constituting the offence;

(e)  compliance with the request would be contrary to the Constitution of Sri Lanka or prejudicial to national security, international relations or public policy;

(a)  a summons or other process requiring a person to appear as defendant or attend as a witness in criminal proceedings in that country;

(b)  a document issued by a court exercising criminal jurisdiction in that country and recording a decision of the court made in the exercise of that jurisdiction,

together with a request that it be served on a person in Sri Lanka, the Central Authority may in his discretion, send such process or document to the Magistrate’s Court within whose jurisdiction such person is residing.

(2) Where the appropriate authority has, in his request to the Central Authority, specified the mode of service, the Magistrate of the Magistrate’s Court to which such process or document has been sent under subsection (1), shall cause such process or document to be served, wherever practicable in accordance with such request unless such mode is inconsistent with the laws of Sri Lanka. Where the mode of service specified in the request is inconsistent with the Laws of Sri Lanka, the Magistrate shall cause such process or document to be served in accordance with the Laws of Sri Lanka.

(3) Where such process or document is served on the person to whom the request relates the Magistrate shall transmit to the Central Authority, a certificate setting out when and how it was served, and shall, where available, attach thereto, an acknowledgement signed by the person on whom it was served.

(4) If such process or document cannot be duly served on the person to whom the request relates, the Magistrate’s Court to which such process or document was sent under subsection (1) shall subject to subsection (5), return such process or document to the Central Authority with a statement giving such information as the Court possesses as to the whereabouts of such person and unless the Central Authority is satisfied that such person is not residing in Sri Lanka, he shall deal with such process or document under subsection (1), where the Central Authority is satisfied that such person is not residing in Sri Lanka, he shall return such process or document to the appropriate authority in the specified country making the request.

(5) If the Magistrate of the Magistrate’s Court to whom the process or document is sent under subsection (1), is satisfied that such person is residing within the jurisdiction of another Magistrate’s Court in Sri Lanka, he shall sent such process or document to the Magistrate of that other court and shall inform the Central Authority that he has done so.

(6) The Magistrate of the Magistrate’s Court to which the process or document is sent under subsection (5), shall proceed as if it had been sent to such court under subsection (1).
The Magistrate shall after it has been served on the person to whom the request relates, transmit to the Central Authority a certificate setting out when and how it was served and shall, where available attach thereto an acknowledgement signed by the person on whom it was served.

(7) The Central Authority shall on receipt of a certificate under subsection (3) or subsection (6), transmit the same to the appropriate authority of the specified country making the request.

(8) The Service of any such process referred to in paragraph (a) of subsection (1), on any person shall not impose any obligation on such person under the law of Sri Lanka to comply with it.

9. Request by the Central Authority for service in a specified country.

(1) The Central Authority may, in the case of—

(a)  a summons requiring a person charged with an offence to appear before a court in Sri Lanka; and

(b)  a summons or order requiring a person to attend before a court in Sri Lanka for the purpose of giving evidence in Criminal Proceedings.

issued or made by a court in Sri Lanka, request the appropriate authority of a specified country in which such person is resident to have such summons or order served on such person in the specified country, and may in such request, specify the mode of service of such summons or order.

(2) Where the appropriate authority of a specified country to whom a request has been made under subsection (1)
informs the Central Authority that the summons or order to which the request relates has been served on a person resident in such specified country and transmits a duty authenticated report of such service, the Central Authority shall cause such report to be sent to the court issuing or making such summons or order, and such report shall be admissible in evidence and the statements made therein shall be deemed to be correct unless the contrary is proved.

PART IV

Assistance in Relation to Taking of Evidence and Production of Documents or other Articles

10. Request by a specified country for evidence to be taken and documents to be produced in Sri Lanka.

(1) where the appropriate authority of a specified country makes a request to the Central Authority that—

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