The government on Wednesday informed the Rajya Sabha that it has initiated a process for bringing comprehensive amendments to criminal laws — the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973, and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 — in consultation with all the stakeholders.
It also said that the process has been initiated with an aim to provide affordable and speedy justice to all, and to create a people-centric legal structure.
Responding to a question in the Upper House, the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Ajay Kumar Mishra, said that a committee had been constituted under the chairpersonship of the Vice Chancellor, National Law University, Delhi, to suggest reforms in criminal laws.
“The Ministry of Home Affairs has also sought suggestions from Governors, Chief Ministers, Lieutenant Governors (LGs) and Administrators of Union Territories, Chief Justice of India, Chief Justices of various high courts, Bar Council of India, Bar Council of various states, various universities/law institutes and all Members of Parliament regarding comprehensive amendments in criminal laws,” Mishra said.
He also informed the House that the department-related Parliamentary standing committee on Home Affairs, in its 146th report, had recommended that there is a need for a comprehensive review of the criminal justice system in the country.
Earlier, the Parliamentary standing committee in its 111th and 128th reports had also stressed upon the need to rationalise the criminal laws of the country by introducing a comprehensive legislation in the Parliament, rather than bringing about piece meal amendments in the respective Acts, Mishra said.
The government is committed to bring out a comprehensive legislation taking into account the recommendations of the committee and the suggestions received from all the stakeholders, the minister added.