Recently, The Centre constituted the Law Commission of India with Justice (retd) Rituraj Awasthi, former Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court, at its head.
GS II: Polity and Governance
Dimensions of the Article:
- Background to the Law Commission in India
- About the Law Commission of India
- 22nd Law Commission
Background to the Law Commission in India
- Law Reform has been a continuing process particularly during the last 300 years or more in Indian history. In the ancient period, when religious and customary law occupied the field, the reform process had been ad hoc and not institutionalised through duly constituted law reform agencies.
- However, since the third decade of the nineteenth century, Law Commissions were constituted by the Government from time to time and were empowered to recommend legislative reforms to clarify, consolidate and codify particular branches of law where the Government felt the necessity for it.
- The first such Commission was established in 1834 under the Charter Act of 1833 under the Chairmanship of Lord Macaulay which recommended codification of the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code.
- After independence, the Constitution stipulated the continuation of pre-Constitution Laws under Article 372 until they are amended or repealed.
- The Government of India established the First Law Commission of Independent India in 1955 and since then twenty-one more Law Commissions have been appointed, each with a three-year term.
About the Law Commission of India
- Law Commission of India it is an executive body established by an order of the Government of India.
- The Commission is established for a fixed tenure and works as an advisory body to the Ministry of Law and Justice.
- Its major function is to work for legal reforms and its membership primarily comprises legal experts.
Functions of the Law commission
- The Law Commission, on a reference made to it by the Central Government or suo-motu, undertakes research in law and review of existing laws in India for making reforms therein and enacting new legislations.
- It also undertakes studies and research for bringing reforms in the justice delivery systems for elimination of delay in procedures, speedy disposal of cases, reduction in the cost of litigation etc.
- Identification of laws which are no longer relevant and recommending for the repeal of obsolete and unnecessary enactments, and giving suggestions for enactment of new legislation as may be necessary to implement the Directive Principles and to attain the objectives set out in the Preamble of the Constitution is also a part of the Law Commission’s functions.
- It also conveys to the Government its views on any subject relating to law and judicial administration that may be specifically referred to it by the Government.
- The recommendations of the commission are not binding on the government.
22nd Law Commission
- The Commission headed by Justice Awasthi is the 22nd Law Commission of India.
- The tenure of the 21st Law Commission, which was headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice B S Chauhan, came to an end on August 31 2018.
- The 22nd Commission has been constituted two and a half years after it was approved by the Union Cabinet on February 19, 2020, just before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- A petition had been moved in the Supreme Court subsequently against the delay in constituting the 22nd Commission.
- An official release at the time of Cabinet clearance had said the Commission would have a tenure of three years from the date of publication of the Order of Constitution in the Official Gazette.
-Source: Indian Express