Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Kumar Mishra | Photo: ANI
New Delhi: The government has initiated the process for comprehensive amendments to criminal laws like the Indian Penal Code, 1860, the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 in consultation with all stakeholders, Minister of State for Home Ajay Kumar Mishra told the Lok Sabha.
The Minister made the announcement while giving a written reply to the query of a few parliamentarians.
Asked whether the government is in the process of review of the existing many criminal laws including the Indian Evidence Act, of 1872, Mishra said 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 of the country.
"Earlier, the Parliamentary Standing Committee in its 111th and 128th Reports had also stressed the need to reform and rationalize the criminal law of the country by introducing comprehensive legislation in Parliament rather than bringing about piecemeal amendments in respective Acts," the MoS told the Lower House.
"With a view to making comprehensive changes in the criminal laws of the country to provide affordable and speedy justice to all, create a people-centric legal structure, the government has initiated the process for comprehensive amendments to criminal laws like Indian Penal Code, 1860, the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 in consultation with all stakeholders," Mishra added.
He further said that a committee had been constituted under the Chairpersonship of the Vice Chancellor, National Law University, Delhi to suggest reforms in the Criminal laws.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has also sought suggestions from Governors, Chief Ministers of States, Lieutenant Governors (LGs) and Administrators of Union Territories, the Chief Justice of India, Chief Justices of various High Courts, the Bar Council of India, Bar Council of various states, various universities and Law Institutes and all Members of Parliament regarding comprehensive amendments in criminal laws, he said.
"The government is committed to bringing out a comprehensive legislation taking into account the recommendations of the Committee and the suggestions received from all the stakeholders."
The Minister also said that the legislation of such laws is a complex and lengthy exercise given the spectrum of divergent views of stakeholders.
"The entire procedure is a long drawn out one and no time limit can be fixed or given for this legislative process," the MoS added.