India and Poland: Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters

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    In News 

    • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister of India approved the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between India and Poland.

    About Treaty 

    • Aim: 
      • To enhance the capability and effectiveness of both countries in the investigation and prosecution of crimes, including crimes related to terrorism through mutual legal assistance through cooperation and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. 
      • It will provide increased awareness and transparency on mutual cooperation between India and Poland in the field of mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.
    • Benefits:
      • In the context of transnational crime and its linkages to terrorism, the proposed Treaty will provide a broad legal framework for bilateral cooperation with Poland in investigation and prosecution of crime as well as in tracing, restrain and confiscation of proceeds and instruments of crime as well as the funds meant to finance terrorist acts.
      • It will increase the effectiveness of India in tackling criminal activities involving Poland.  
      • It will be instrumental in gaining better inputs and insights into the modus operandi of organized criminals and terrorists.  

    What is Mutual Legal Assistance? 

    • It is a mechanism whereby countries cooperate with one another in order to provide and obtain formal assistance in prevention, suppression, investigation and prosecution of crime to ensure that the criminals do not escape or sabotage the due process of law for want of evidence available in different countries.
    • India provides mutual legal assistance in criminal matters through Bilateral Treaties/Agreements, Multilateral Treaties/Agreements or International Conventions or on the basis of assurance of reciprocity.
    • The Ministry of Home Affairs is the Central Authority of India for dealing with requests of mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. 

    India and Poland Relations

    • Political Relations:
      • India and Poland share a long-standing friendly relationship, marked by high-level political contacts, vibrant economic engagement and traditional cultural links. Diplomatic relations were established in 1954, leading to the opening of the Indian Embassy in Warsaw in 1957. 
      • The two countries shared common ideological perceptions, based on their opposition to colonialism, imperialism and racism. 
      • A cordial political relationship has emerged in the current century, particularly after Poland joined the EU in 2004, and became one of India’s key economic partners in Central Europe
    • Economic & Commercial Relations:
      • Poland is India’s largest trade partner and export destination in the Central European region, with bilateral trade growing almost seven-fold over the last ten years. 
      • As per Indian statistics, the overall value of bilateral trade in 2019 was US$ 2.36 billion
        • India’s export to Poland contributed to 0.48% of overall India’s export.
          • Only 0.15% of India’s import was covered by Poland in 2019. 
      • Indian investments in Poland are valued at over US$3 billion
        • Total Polish investment in India is estimated at US$ 672 million
    • Sectoral Collaboration
      • Agro and Food processing sectors: Poland possesses world-class food processing including preservation/storage technologies while India is one of the largest producers for many fruits, dairy and Agro products. 
      • IT/ICTSector: Around thirteen Indian IT companies, employing more than 10,000 professionals, are currently active in Poland and are also operating their Europe operations from here.
      • Textile Sector: India has presently a share of only 3.73% overall in the Polish Textile and Apparel
        • Presently, about 30-40% of goods exported by India to Poland are re-exported to other EU Countries.
      • In the mining/energy sector, Poland possesses reputed clean coal technologies and Polish public sector companies have played a substantial role in the development of mining and power sectors in India. 
        • India and Poland signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 4 February 2019, in New Delhi to enhance bilateral cooperation in the coal and mining sector.
      • Pharmaceutical and chemicals Sector – Given Poland’s strategic location, shortages in healthcare personnel and 25% growth in the pharma market in the last 5 years, there are good opportunities for Indian exporters and investors.
    • Cultural and Educational Relations
      • There is a strong tradition of Indology studies in Poland, with Polish scholars having translated Sanskrit into Polish as early as in the 19th Century.
        • The Indology Department of the Oriental Institute at the University of Warsaw (established in 1932) is the largest centre for Indian studies in Central Europe. 
        • Polish Post (Poczta Polska ) issued a Commemorative Stamp on the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi which was released on the occasion.
        • On the occasion of 550th Prakash Purab of Guru Nanak Dev ji, Gurudwara Sahib of Poland organised functions in  Poland.
    • Indian Community:
      • Estimated at approximately 10,000, the Indian community in Poland consists of traders (textiles, garments and electronics) who came after the collapse of communism, and professionals with multinational or Indian companies and software/IT experts, including a rising number of Indian students. 

    Source: PIB