Law Commission of India

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Law Commission of India
Motto Reforming the Law For Maximising Justice in Society and Promoting Good Governance under the Rule of Law
Formation First 1834; Current 2013-01-24
Type Agency of Government of India
Legal status Ad hoc, term based
Purpose/focus Law Reform in India
Location 2nd Floor, ILI Building, Bhagwandas Road, New Delhi - 110 001
Membership Chairman, 1 Permanent Member, 1 Member Secretary, and 6 Part-time Members
Chairman Ajit Prakash Shah (20th law commission)
Website www.lawcommissionofindia.nic.in

Law Commission of India is an executive body established by an order of the Government of India. Its major function is to work for legal reform. Its membership primarily comprises legal experts, who are entrusted a mandate by the Government. The Commission is established for a fixed tenure and works as an advisory body to the Ministry of Law and Justice.

The first Law Commission was established during the British regime in 1834 by the Charter Act of 1833. After that three more Commissions were established in pre-independent India. The first Law Commission of independent India was established in 1955 for a three year term. Since then Nineteen more Commissions have been established.The Nineteenth Law Commission was established on 1 September 2009 under the Chairmanship of a justice P.Venkatarama Reddy.Its tenure has been fixed till 31 August 2012.The 20th Law Commission was established in 2013 under the Chairmanship of Judge of Supreme Court D.K Jain. Its tenure has been fixed till 2015.The terms of reference of the 20th Law Commission include review/repeal obsolete law,examine the existing laws,Revise Central acts of general importance etc. In November 2013 the Centre appointed former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Justice Ajit Prakash Shah as the New chairman of the 20th Law Commission of India in place of D.K Jain who has taken over as president National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Shah will have a three-year tenure and has been saddled with a wide terms of reference including one to examine existing laws from the gender equality perspective and suggest necessary amendments.

Evolution of Law Commission in India[edit]

The origin of the first Law Commission of India lies in the diverse and often conflicting laws prevailing in the local regions and those administered by the East India Company, which was granted Royal Charters and also conferred powers by the various Indian rulers to administer and oversee the conduct of the inhabitants in the local areas where the Company exercised control.[1] During this period of administration by the Company, two sets of laws operated in the areas; one which applied to and in relation to British citizens and the second which applied to the local inhabitants and aliens. This was considered as a major stumbling block for proper administration by the British Government during the times which is now known as the British Raj. In order to improve the law and order situation and also to ensure uniformity of legal administration, various options were looked for. Until then the British Government had been passing various enactments to deal with particular situations, such as the Prohibition of Sati in 1829 by Lord William Bentinck under the influence of Raja Ram Mohan Roy. However it was for the first time in 1833 that the idea to establish a Law Commission for a comprehensive examination of the existing legal system prevailing in the British administered areas and its overhaul was instituted.

Pre-Independence Law Commissions of India[edit]

The First Law Commission was established in 1834 by the British Government under the Chairmanship of Lord Macaulay.[2] It suggested various enactments to the British Government, most of which were passed and enacted and are still in force in India. Few of the most important recommendations made by this First Law Commission were those on, Indian Penal Code (first submitted in 1837 but enacted in 1860 and still in force), Criminal Procedure Code (enacted in 1898, repealed and succeeded by the Criminal Procedure Code of 1973), etc. Thereafter three more Law Commissions were established which made a number of other recommendations the Indian Evidence Act (1872) and Indian Contract Act (1872), etc. being some of the significant ones. The contribution of these Law Commissions can be enumerated as under;

First Pre-Independence Law Commission Second Pre-Independence Law Commission Third Pre-Independence Law Commission Fourth Pre-Independence Law Commission
Established
1834
1853
1861
1879
Chairman
Lord Macaulay[2]
Sir John Romilly[3]
Sir John Romilly[3]
Dr. Whitley Stokes[4]
Members[3] (1) J.M. Macleod, (2) G.W. Anderson, and (3) F. Millet (1) Sir Lord Jervis, (2) Sir Edward Ryan, (3) R. Lowe, (4) J.M. Macleod, (5) C.H. Cameron, and (6) T.E. Ellis Initially (1) Sir Edward Ryan, (2) R. Lowe, (3) J.M. Macleod, (4) Sir W. Erle, and (5) Justice Wills. Subsequently Sir W. Erle, and Justice Wills succeed by Sir. W.M. James and J. Henderson. Later J. Henderson replaced by Justice Lush. (1) Sir Charles Turner, and (2) Raymond West
Reports[3][5][6] Penal Code (2 May 1837) Code of Civil Procedure and Law of Limitation (1859) A code for Succession and Inheritance for Indians other than Hindus and Muslims (1865) Code of Negotiable Instruments (1881)
Lex Loci (role and authority of English law in India) (31 October 1840) Penal Code (1860) Draft Contract Law (1866) Code on Trusts Law (1882)
-
Code of Criminal Procedure (1861) Draft Negotiable Instruments Law (1867) Code on Transfer of Property and Easements (1882)
-
-
Draft Evidence Law (1868) Revised Code of Criminal Procedure (1882)
-
-
Revision of Code of Criminal Procedure (1870) Revised Code of Civil Procedure (1882)
-
-
Draft Transfer of Property Law (1870)
-
-
-
Draft Code on Insurance (1871)
-

A Two-member Viceroy's Executive Council (composed of Sir Henry Maine and Sir James Fitzjames Stephen) also worked on the side-lines of the Law Commissions and ensured the passage of the following noteworthy laws;[7]

Law Commissions in Independent India[edit]

The tradition of pursuing law reform through the medium of a Law Commission was continued in post-independent India. The first law commission in Independent India was established in 1955 and since then seventeen more law commissions have been established. Each of these Commissions have been chaired by a prominent legal personality in India and has made a significant contribution to the legal diaspora of India. The contribution of the each of these Commissions has been enumerated below.

First Law Commission[edit]

The first Law Commission of independent India was established in 1955. The Chairman of this Commission was Mr. M. C. Setalvad, who was also the First Attorney General of India. The term of this Commission was established as three years (which by convention has been followed till date) and this Commission submitted its last report on 16 September 1958. The reports submitted by the First Law Commission of India are as under;[8]

Report No. Date of Presentation Title of Report
1
11 May 1956
Liability of the State in Tort
2
2 July 1956
Parliamentary Legislation relating to Sales Tax
3
21 July 1956
Limitation Act, 1908
4
1 August 1956
On the proposal that High Courts should sit in Benches at different places in a State
5
11 May 1957
British Statutes Applicable to India
6
13 July 1957
Registration Act, 1908
7
13 July 1957
Partnership Act, 1932
8
1 March 1958
Sale of Goods Act, 1930
9
19 July 1958
Specific Relief Act, 1877
10
26 September 1958
Law of Acquisition and Requisitioning of Law
11
26 September 1958
Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881
12
26 September 1958
Income Tax Act, 1922
13
26 September 1958
Contract Act, 1872
14
16 September 1958
Reform of Judicial Administration

Second Law Commission[edit]

The Second Law Commission was established in 1958 under the Chairmanship of Justice T. V. Venkatarama Aiyar. It stayed in office till 1961.[9] It presented the following reports;[10]

Report No. Presented in Title of Report
15
1960
Law relating to Marriage and Divorce amongst Christians in India
16
1960
Official Trustees Act, 1913
17
1961
Report on Trusts Act, 1882
18
1961
Converts’ Marriage Dissolution Act, 1866
19
1961
The Administrator-General's Act, 1913
20
1961
The Law of Hire-Purchase
21
1961
Marine Insurance
22
1961
Christian Marriage and Matrimonial Causes Bill,1961

Third Law Commission[edit]

The Third Law Commission was established in 1961 under the Chairmanship of Justice J. L. Kapur. It stayed in office till 1964.[9] It presented the following reports;[11]

Report No. Presented in Title of Report
23
1962
Law of Foreign Marriages
24
1962
The Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952
25
1963
Evidence of Officers about forged stamps, currency notes, etc. Section 509-A Cr.P.C. as proposed
26
1964
Insolvency Laws
27
1964
The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908
28
1964
The Indian Oaths Act, 1873

Fourth Law Commission[edit]

The Fourth Law Commission was established in 1964 and was again under the Chairmanship of Justice J. L. Kapur. It stayed in office till 1968.[9] It presented the following reports;

Report No. Presented in Title of Report
29
1967
Proposal to include certain Social and Economic Offences in the Indian Penal Code, 1860
30
1967
Section 5 of the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956, taxation by the States in the course of import
31
1967
Section 30(2) of the Indian Registration Act, 1908 - Extension to Delhi
32
1967
Section 9 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898
33
1967
Section 44 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898
34
1967
Indian Registration Act, 1908
35
1967
Capital Punishment
36
1967
Section 497, 498 and 499 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898
37
1967
The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898
38
1968
Indian Post Office Act, 1898

Fifth Law Commission[edit]

The Fifth Law Commission was established in 1968 under the Chairmanship of Mr. K. V. K. Sundaram. It stayed in office till 1971.[9] It presented the following reports;

Report No. Presented in Title of Report
39
1968
Punishment for imprisonment for life under the Indian Penal Code
40
1969
Law relating to attendance of Prisoners in Courts
41
1969
The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898
42
1971
Indian Penal Code
43
1971
Offences against the National Security
44
1971
The Appellate Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in Civil Matters

Sixth Law Commission[edit]

The Sixth Law Commission was established in 1971 under the Chairmanship of Justice P. B. Gajendragadkar. It stayed in office till 1974.[9] It presented the following reports;

Report No. Presented in Title of Report
45
1971
Civil Appeals to the Supreme Court on a Certificate of Fitness
46
1971
The Constitution (Twenty-Fifth Amendment) Bill, 1971
47
1972
The trial and punishment of Social and Economic Offences
48
1972
Some questions under the Code of Criminal Procedure Bill, 1970
49
1972
The proposal for inclusion of agricultural income in the total income
50
1972
The proposal to include persons connected with the Public examination within the definition of 'Public Servant'
51
1972
Compensation of injuries caused by automobiles in hit-and-run cases
52
1972
Estate duty on property acquired after death
53
1972
Effect of the Pensions Act, 1871 on the right to sue for pensions of retired members of public service
54
1973
The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908
55
1973
Rate of Interest after decree and interest on costs under Section 34 and 35 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908
56
1973
Statutory Provision as to the Notice of Suit other than Section 80, Civil Procedure Code, 1908
57
1973
Benami Transactions
58
1974
Stature and Jurisdiction of the Higher Judiciary
59
1974
Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and Special Marriage Act, 1954
60
1974
The General Clauses Act, 1897
61
1974
Certain problems with the power of the States to levy a tax on the sale of goods

Seventh Law Commission[edit]

The Seventh Law Commission was established in 1974 again under the Chairmanship of Justice P. B. Gajendragadkar. It stayed in office till 1977.[9] It presented the following reports;

Report No. Presented in Title of Report
62
1974
Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923
63
1975
The Interest Act, 1839
64
1975
The Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act, 1956
65
1976
Recognition of Foreign Divorces
66
1976
Married Women's Property Act, 1874
67
1977
The Indian Stamp Act, 1899
68
1977
The Power of Attorney Act, 1882
69
1977
The Indian Evidence Act, 1872
70
1977
The Transfer of Property Act, 1882

Eighth Law Commission[edit]

The Eighth Law Commission was established in 1977 under the Chairmanship of Justice H. R. Khanna. It stayed in office till 1979.[9] It presented the following reports;

Report No. Presented in Title of Report
71
1978
Irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a ground for divorce
72
1978
Restriction on practice after being a permanent judge
73
1978
Criminal liability for failure by husband to pay maintenance or permanent alimony granted to the wife
74
1978
Proposal to amend the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 so as to render Admissible certain statements made by witnesses before Commissions of Inquiry and other Statutory Authorities
75
1978
Disciplinary jurisdiction under the Advocates Act, 1961
76
1978
Arbitration Act, 1940
77
1979
Delay and arrears in trial courts
78
1979
Congestion of under trial persons in jails
79
1979
Delays and arrears in High Courts and other Appellate Courts
80
1979
Method of Appointment of Judges

Ninth Law Commission[edit]

The Ninth Law Commission was established in 1979 under the Chairmanship of Justice P. V. Dixit. It stayed in office till 1980.[9] It presented the following reports;

Report No. Presented in Title of Report
81
1979
Hindu Widows Re-marriage Act, 1856
82
1980
Effect of nomination under Section 39, Insurance Act, 1938
83
1980
The Guardian and Wards Act, 1890
84
1980
Rape and allied offences-some questions of substantive law, procedure and evidence
85
1980
Claims for compensation under Chapter 8 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939
86
1980
The Partition Act, 1893
87
1980
Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920

Tenth Law Commission[edit]

The Tenth Law Commission was established in 1981 under the Chairmanship of Justice K. K. Mathew. It stayed in office till 1985.[9] It presented the following reports;

Report No. Presented in Title of Report
88
1983
Governmental Privileges in Evidence
89
1983
The Limitation Act, 1963
90
1983
The Grounds for Divorce amongst Christians in India
91
1983
Dowry deaths and law reform
92
1983
Damages in applications for Judicial Review Recommendations for legislation
93
1983
Disclosures of sources of information by mass media
94
1983
Evidence obtained illegally or improperly
95
1984
Constitutional Division within Supreme Court
96
1984
Repeal of certain obsolete Central Acts
97
1984
Section 28 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872: prescriptive clauses in contracts
98
1984
Sections 24 to 26 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
99
1984
Oral and written arguments in the Higher courts
100
1984
Litigation by and against the Government
101
1984
Freedom of Speech and Expression under Article 19 of the Constitution
102
1984
Section 122(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
103
1984
Unfair Terms in contracts
104
1984
The Judicial Officers' Protection Act, 1850
105
1984
Quality control and inspection of consumer goods
106
1984
Section 103A, Motor Vehicles Act, 1939
107
1984
Law of Citizenship
108
1984
Promissory Estoppel
109
1985
Obscene and Indecent Advertisements and Displays
110
1985
Indian Succession Act, 1925
111
1985
Fatal Incidents Act, 1955
112
1985
Section 45 of the Insurance Act, 1938
113
1985
Injuries in Police Custody

Eleventh Law Commission[edit]

The Eleventh Law Commission was established in 1985 under the Chairmanship of Justice D. A. Desai. It stayed in office till 1988.[9] It presented the following reports;

Report No. Presented in Title of Report
114
1986
Gram Nyayalaya
115
1986
Tax Courts
116
1986
Formation of an All India Judicial Service
117
1986
Training of Judicial Officers
118
1986
Method of appointment to subordinate courts
119
1987
Access to Exclusive Forum for victims of motor accidents
120
1987
Manpower planning in Judiciary
121
1987
A new forum for Judicial Appointments
122
1987
Forum for National uniformity in Labour Adjudication
123
1988
Decentralization in Administration of Justice
124
1988
The High Court Arrears - A fresh look
125
1988
The Supreme Court - A fresh look
126
1988
Government and Public Sector Undertaking Litigation policy and Strategies
127
1988
Resource Allocation for Infra-Structural Services in Judicial Administration
128
1988
Cost of Litigation
129
1988
Urban Litigation - Mediation as alternative to Litigation
130
1988
Benami Transactions : A continuum
131
1988
Role of legal profession in Administration of Justice

Twelfth Law Commission[edit]

The Twelfth Law Commission was established in 1988 under the Chairmanship of Justice M. P. Thakkar. It stayed in office till 1989.[9] It presented the following reports;

Report No. Presented in Title of Report
132
1989
Need for Amendment of the Provisions of the Chapter IX of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 in order to ameliorate the hardship and mitigate the distress of Neglected Women, Children and Parents
133
1989
Removal of discrimination against Women in matters relating to Guardianship and Custody of Minor Children and Elaboration of the Welfare Principle
134
1989
Removing Deficiencies in certain provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923
135
1989
Women in Custody
136
1990
Conflicts in High Court decisions on Central Laws - How to foreclose and how to resolve
137
1990
Need for creating office of Ombudsman
138
1990
Legislative Protection for Slum and Pavement Dwellers
139
1991
Urgent need to amend Order XXI, Rule 92(2), Civil Procedure Code, 1908
140
1991
Need to amend Order V, Rule 19A of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908
141
1991
Need for amending the laws as regards power of courts to resolve criminal revisional applications and criminal cases dismissed for default in appearance
142
1991
Confessional treatment for offenders who on their own initiative choose to plead guilty without any bargaining
143
1991
Legislative safeguards for protecting the small depositors from exploitation

Thirteenth Law Commission[edit]

The Thirteenth Law Commission was established in 1991 under the Chairmanship of Justice K. N. Singh. It stayed in office till 1994.[9] It presented the following reports;[12]

Report No. Presented in Title of Report
144
1992
Conflicting Judicial decisions pertaining to the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908
145
1992
Article 12 of the Constitution and Public Sector Undertakings
146
1993
Sale of Women and Children: Proposed Section 373-A, Indian Penal Code
147
1993
The Specific Relief Act, 1963
148
1993
Repeal of Certain pre-1947 Central Acts
149
1994
Removal of certain deficiencies in the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (Act No. 59 of 1988)
150
1994
Suggesting some Amendments to the Code of Civil Procedure (Act No. V of 1908)
151
1994
Admiralty Jurisdiction
152
1994
Custodial Crimes
153
1994
Inter-Country Adoption

Fourteenth Law Commission[edit]

The Fourteenth Law Commission was established in 1995 under the Chairmanship of Justice K. Jayachandra Reddy. It stayed in office till 1997.[9] It presented the following reports;[13]

Report No. Date of Presentation Title of Report
154
22 August 1996
The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Act No. 2 of 1974)
155
12 July 1997
The Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985(Act No. 61 of 1985)
156
30 August 1997
The Indian Penal Code

Fifteenth Law Commission[edit]

The Fifteenth Law Commission was established in 1997 under the Chairmanship of Justice B. P. Jeevan Reddy. It stayed in office till 2000.[9] It presented the following reports;[14]

Report No. Presented in Title of Report
157
1998
Section 52:Transfer of Property Act, 1882 and its Amendment
158
1998
The Amendment of the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951
159
1998
Repeal and Amendment of Laws: Part I
160
1998
Amendment to the All India Council for Technical Education Act, 1987 (Act No. 52 of 1987)
161
1998
Central Vigilance Commission and Allied Bodies
162
1998
Review of functioning of Central Administrative Tribunal, Customs, Excise and Gold (Control) Appellate Tribunal and Income-Tax Appellate Tribunal
163
1998
The Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 1997
164
1998
The Indian Divorce Act, 1869 (Act IV of 1869)
165
1998
Free and Compulsory Education for Children
166
1999
The Corrupt Public Servants (forfeiture of property) Bill
167
1999
The Patents (Amendment) Bill, 1998
168
1999
The Hire-Purchase Act,1972
169
1999
Amendment of Army, Navy and Air Force Act
170
1999
Reform of Electoral Laws
171
2000
The Biodiversity Bill, 2000
172
2000
Review of Rape Laws
173
2000
Prevention of Terrorism Bill, 2000
174
2000
Property Rights of Women: Proposed Reforms Under the Hindu Law

Sixteenth Law Commission[edit]

The Sixteenth Law Commission was established in 2000. For the period till 2001 Justice B. P. Jeevan Reddy continued as the Chairman of the Commission while in the period between 2002 to 2003 the Commission worked under the Chairmanship of Justice M. Jagannadha Rao.[9] It presented the following reports;[15]

Report No. Presented in Title of Report
175
2000
The Foreigners (Amendment) Bill, 2000
176
2001
The Arbitration and conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2002
177
2001
Law Relating to Arrest
178
2001
Recommendations for amending various enactments, both civil and criminal
179
2001
Public Interest Disclosure and Protection of Informers
180
2002
Article 20 (3) of the Constitution of India and Right to Silence
181
2002
Amendment to Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882
182
2002
Amendment of Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894
183
2002
A Continuum on the General Clauses Act, 1897 with special reference to the admissibility and codification of external aids to interpretation of statutes
184
2002
Legal Education & Professional Training and Proposals for amendments to the Advocates Act, 1961 and the University Grants Commission Act, 1956
185
2003
Review of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872

Seventeenth Law Commission[edit]

The Seventeenth Law Commission was established in 2003 and continued to be under the Chairmanship of Justice M. Jagannadha Rao. It stayed in office till 2006.[9] It presented the following reports;[16]

Report No. Presented in Title of Report
186
2003
Proposal to Constitute Environment Courts
187
2003
Mode of Execution of Death Sentence and Incidental Matters
188
2003
The Proposals for Constitution of Hi-Tech Fast - Track Commercial Divisions in High Courts
189
2004
Revision of Court Fees Structure
190
2004
The Revision of the Insurance Act, 1938 and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999
191
2004
Regulation of Funds collected for Calamity Relief.
192
2005
Prevention of vexatious Litigation
193
2005
Transnational Litigation, Conflict of Laws, Law of Limitation
194
2005
Verification of Stamp Duties and Registration of Arbitral Awards
195
2006
The Judges (Inquiry) Bill, 2005
196
2006
Medical Treatment to Terminally Ill Patients (Protection of Patients and Medical Practitioners)
197
2006
Public Prosecutor's Appointments
198
2006
Witness Identity Protection and Witness Protection Programmes
199
2006
Unfair (Procedural and Substantive) Terms in Contracts
200
2006
Trial by Media : Free Speech Vs. Fair Trial Under Criminal Procedure (Amendments to the Contempt of Court Act, 1971)
201
2006
Medical Treatment after Accidents and During Emergency Medical Condition and Women in Labour

Eighteenth Law Commission[edit]

The Eighteenth Law Commission of India was established on 1 September 2006 and continued till 31 August 2009. Justice M. Jagannadha Rao continued to serve as the Chairman of the Commission until 28 May 2007 on which date Justice A. R. Lakshmanan was appointed as the Chairman of the Commission. It presented the following reports;

Report No. Date of Presentation Title of Report
202
9 October 2007
Proposal to Amend Section 304-B of the Indian Penal Code
203
26 December 2007
Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 as Amended by the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, 2005 (Anticipatory Bail)
204
5 February 2008
Proposal to Amend the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 as amended by Act 39 of 2005
205
5 February 2008
Proposal to Amend the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 and other allied Laws
206
10 June 2008
Proposal for enactment of new Coroners Act applicable to the whole of India
207
10 June 2008
Proposal to amend Section 15 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 in case a female dies intestate leaving herself acquired property with no heirs
208
30 July 2008
Proposal for the amendment of explanation to Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 to include oral partition and family arrangement on the definition of 'partition'
209
30 July 2008
Proposal for the omission of Section 213 from the Indian Succession Act, 1925
210
17 October 2008
Humanization and Decriminalization of Attempt to Suicide
211
17 October 2008
Laws on Registration of Marriages and Divorce - A proposal for Consolidation and Reform
212
17 October 2008
Laws of Civil Marriage in India - A proposal to Resolve Certain Conflicts
213
24 November 2008
Fast Track Magisterial Courts for Dishonoured Cheque Cases
214
21 November 2008
Proposal for reconsideration of Judges Case I, II and III - S P Gupta Vs, UOI
215
17 December 2008
L. Chandra Kumar be revisited by Larger Bench of Supreme Court
216
17 December 2008
Non-Feasibility of introduction of Hindi as compulsory language in the Supreme Court of India
217
30 March 2009
Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage – Another Ground for Divorce
218
30 March 2009
Need to accede to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (1980)
219
30 March 2009
Need for Family Law Legislations for Non-resident Indians
220
30 March 2009
Need to fix Maximum Chargeable Court-fees in Subordinate Civil Courts
221
30 April 2009
Need for Speedy Justice – Some Suggestions
222
30 April 2009
Need for Justice-dispensation through ADR etc.
223
30 April 2009
Need for Ameliorating the lot of the Have-nots - Supreme Court's judgments
224
2009
Amendment of Section 2 of the Divorce Act 1869 Enabling Non-domiciled Estranged Christian Wives to seek Divorce.
225
2009
Amendment of Sections 7, 7A, and 7B of Industrial Disputes Act 1947 Making Advocates Eligible to man Labour Courts and Industrial Tribunals.

2009

226
2009
The Inclusion of Acid Attacks as Specific Offences in the Indian Penal Code and a Law for Compensation for Victims of Crime.
227
2009
Preventing Bigamy via Conversion to Islam - A Proposal for giving Statutory Effect to Supreme Court Rulings
228
2009
Need For Legislation to Regulate Assisted Reproductive Technology Clinics as Well as Rights and Obligations of Parties to a Surrogacy
229
2009
Need for division of the Supreme Court into a Constitution Bench at Delhi and Cassation Benches in four regions at Delhi, Chennai/ Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai
230
2009
Reforms in the Judiciary – Some suggestions
231
2009
Amendments in Indian Stamp Act 1899 And Court-Fees Act 1870 Permitting Different Modes of Payment
232
2009
Retirement Age of Chairpersons and Members of Tribunals – Need for Uniformity
233
2009
Amendment of Code of Criminal Procedure Enabling Restoration of Complaints
234
2009
Legal Reforms to Combat Road Accidents

Nineteenth Law Commission[edit]

The nineteenth Law Commission of India's Chairman was Chairman Mr. Justice P. V. Reddi, 2009-2012 of 19th Law Comiission.[17]

Report No. Presented in Title of Report
235
2010
Conversion/reconversion to another religion - mode of proof
236
2010
Court-fees in Supreme Court vis-à-vis Corporate Litigation
237
2011
Compounding of (IPC) offences
238
2011
Amendment of Section 89 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and Allied provisions
239
2012
Expeditious Investigation and Trial of Criminal Cases Against 2012 Influential Public Personalities
240
2012
Costs in Civil Litigation
241
2012
Passive Euthanasia - A Relook
242
2012
Prevention of Interference with the freedom of Matrimonial Alliances 2012 (in the name of Honour and Tradition ) : A suggested legal framework
243
2012
Section 498 A, IPC

Twentieth Law Commission[edit]

(2012-2015) Justice D. K. Jain, Judge, Supreme Court of India, will be the Chairman of the Twentieth Law Commission of India. The appointment of Justice Jain will be effective from any day after 24 January 2013 on his retirement from the Supreme Court.[18]

The Terms of Reference of the Twentieth Law Commission are as follows:-

A. Review/Repeal of obsolete laws: (i) Identify laws which are no longer needed or relevant and can be immediately repealed. (ii) Identify laws which are not in harmony with the existing climate of economic liberalization and need change. (iii) Identify laws which otherwise require changes or amendments and to make suggestions for their amendment. (iv) Consider in a wider perspective the suggestions for revision/amendment given by Expert Groups in various Ministries/Departments with a view to coordinating and harmonising them. (v) Consider references made to it by Ministries/ Departments in respect of legislation having bearing on the working of more than one Ministry/ Department. (vi) Suggest suitable measures for quick redressal of citizens grievances, in the field of law.

B. Law and Poverty

(i) Examine the Laws which affect the poor and carry out post-audit for socio-economic legislations. (ii) Take all such measures as may be necessary to harness law and the legal process in the service of the poor. C. Keep under review the system of judicial administration to ensure that it is responsive to the reasonable demands of the times and in particular to secure: (i) elimination of delays, speedy clearance of arrears and reduction in costs so as to secure quick and economical disposal of cases without affecting the cardinal principle that decisions should be just and fair. (ii) simplification of procedure to reduce and eliminate technicalities and devices for delay so that it operates not as an end in itself but as a means of achieving justice. (iii) improvement of standards of all concerned with the administration of justice. D. Examine the existing laws in the light of Directive Principles of State Policy and to suggest ways of improvement and reform and also to suggest such legislations as might be necessary to implement the Directive Principles and to attain the objectives set out in the Preamble to the Constitution. E. Examine the existing laws with a view for promoting gender equality and suggesting amendments thereto. F. Revise the Central Acts of general importance so as to simplify them and to remove anomalies, ambiguities and inequities. G. Recommend to the Government measure for making the statue book up to date by repealing obsolete laws and enactments or parts thereof which have outlived their utility. H. Consider and to convey to the Government its views on any subject relating to law and judicial administration that may be specifically referred to it by the Government through Ministry of Law and Justice (Department of Legal Affairs). I. Consider the requests for providing research to any foreign countries as may be referred to it by the Government through Ministry of Law & Justice (Department of Legal Affairs). J. Examine the impact of globalization on food security, unemployment and recommend measures for the protection of the interests of the marginalized.

Working of the Law Commission[edit]

The Law Commission works in close co-ordination and under the general instruction of Ministry of Law and Justice. It generally acts as the initiation point for law reform in the country. Internally, the Law Commission works in a research-oriented manner. Employing a number of research analysts (and even law students from 2007[19]), the Commission works upon the assigned agenda and primarily comes up with research based reports, often conclusive and recommendatory. The permanent members of the Commission generally are responsible for framing the exact topic and reference to work upon and often takes the services of eminent law experts and jurists who are familiar with the matter under review. These experts may either work part-time with the Commission or may have been requested to contribute to specific reports or issues under review.

According to the Commission's website, the Commission's regular staff consists of about a dozen research personnel of different ranks and varied experiences with a small group of secretarial staff looks after the administration side of the Commission's operations[20] and the internal functioning of the Commission can be described as a process with the following stages;

  • Initiation of projects at the Commission's meetings;
  • Discussion of priorities; identification of topics and assignment of preparatory work to Members;
  • Adoption of methodologies for collection of data and research;
  • Outlining of problems and determination of areas for reform;
  • Consultations with public, professional bodies and academic institutions;
  • Evaluation of responses and preparation of draft of report;
  • Discussion and scrutiny of report, leading to its finalization; and
  • Forwarding of report to the Ministry of Law and Justice.[20]

Once the Report is submitted to the Ministry of Law and Justice, the task of the Commission ends unless it is required to rework upon identified areas of provide clarifications by the Government on the report submitted. Upon receipt of the Report, it is the responsible for follow-up action on the recommendations made by the Commission in the Report. Generally the Ministry of Law and Justice forwards the Report with its remarks to other relevant Ministries in the Government of India and seeks from them their opinion on the relevance of the recommendation and finalizes with them the manner of implemendation of these recommendations. When the proposals are cleared by the various Ministries and approved by the Cabinet, the Ministry of Law and Justice goes for drafting of the implementing legislation or follows the draft submitted by the Law Commission (which usually is the case) and presents the same for approval before the Parliament.

Role of Law Commission in legal reform in India[edit]

The Law Commission of India, though an ad hoc body, has been key to law reform in India.[21] Its role has been both advisory and critical of the government's policies.[citation needed] The Supreme Court of India and academia have recognized the commission as pioneering and prospective.[citation needed] In a number of decisions, the Supreme Court has referred to the work done by the commission and followed its recommendations.[citation needed] The fact that the chairman of the commission is generally a retired judge of the Supreme Court has helped the prominence of the commission.[citation needed]

The Commission reviews judicial administration to ensure that it is responsive so that delays are eliminated, arrears are cleared and disposal of cases is quick and cost-effective without sacrificing the cardinal principle that they are just and fair. The Commission seeks to simplify procedure to curb delays and improve standards of justice. It also strives to promote an accountable and citizen-friendly government which is transparent and ensures the people's right to information.[21]

The recommendations of the commission are not binding on the government. "They are recommendations. They may be accepted or rejected. Action on the said recommendations depends on the ministries/departments, which are concerned with the subject matter of the recommendations."[22] This has resulted in a number of important and critical recommendations not being implemented. The commission, however, has continued to work upon its assigned tasks.

The power vested in the commission to suo motu take up matters for discussion and submit recommendations has also worked well to the advantage of India's legal system.[citation needed] The history of the commission is replete with such recommendations which have been made in the wake of the hour and where the law has needed change.[citation needed] Further, the commission has been often returned to review its earlier reports in the wake of changed scenarios and the aptness of law in such situations.[citation needed] Euthanasia and related issues, in particular, has been one such area where the commission has been relook the situation at least three times, with the latest being its 196th report on the topic.[citation needed]

Besides the Law Ministry, the commission has also been requested to work upon specific issues and submit its views by the Supreme Court on various occasions. The latest in regard has been the 205th report of the commission which has been prepared in view of the Supreme Court's request for assistance in determination of "certain legal issues relating to child marriage, and the different ages at which a person is defined as a child in different laws." The report stirred a public debate in India for recommending inter alia, a reduction in marriage age of boys to be at par with girls at 18, instead of the long continuing 21 and 18 respectively.

With all its past and present works being continuously provided on the internet, the commission has also provided a firm assistance to legal research in the country.[citation needed] The fact that a number of its reports have been taken receptively by the various ministries and have been worked upon to change the legal scenario, is itself an indicator sufficient enough of the role of the commission in furtherance of law reform in India.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Jain, M.P. (1984). Outlines of Indian Legal History. Bombay: N.M. Tripathi. 
  2. ^ a b "Early beginnings". lawcommissionofindia.nic.in. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  3. ^ a b c d Eugen Lang, Maurice. Codification In The British Empire And America. Lawbook Exchange. pp. 78–92. ISBN 978-1-58477-620-8. 
  4. ^ Mishra, Shree Govind (1993). The legal history of India, 1600-1990. New Delhi: Uppal Pub. House. ISBN 81-85565-21-X. 
  5. ^ Char, S. V., Desika (1983). Readings in the constitutional history of India, 1757-1947. Delhi: Oxford. ISBN 0-19-561264-7. 
  6. ^ Bryce, James Y. Studies in history and jurisprudence: Volume 1. Adamant Media Corporation. p. 121. ISBN 1-4021-9046-8. 
  7. ^ Riddick, John A. (2006). The history of British India: a chronology. Westport, Conn.: Praeger. ISBN 0-313-32280-5. 
  8. ^ "First Law Commission". lawcommissionofindia.nic.in. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Law Commissions of India". lawcommissionofindia.nic.in. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  10. ^ "Second Law Commission Reports". lawcommissionofindia.nic.in. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  11. ^ "Third Law Commission Reports". lawcommissionofindia.nic.in. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  12. ^ "Thirteenth Law Commission Reports". lawcommissionofindia.nic.in. Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  13. ^ "Fourteenth Law Commission Reports". lawcommissionofindia.nic.in. Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  14. ^ "Fifteenth Law Commission Reports". lawcommissionofindia.nic.in. Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  15. ^ "Sixteenth Law Commission Reports". lawcommissionofindia.nic.in. Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  16. ^ "Seventeenth Law Commission Reports". lawcommissionofindia.nic.in. Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  17. ^ Hindustantimes.com
  18. ^ http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=91394
  19. ^ "Student Internships at Law Commission". lawcommissionofindia.nic.in. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  20. ^ a b "How does the Commission function?". lawcommissionofindia.nic.in. Retrieved 2008-06-12. 
  21. ^ a b Lalit Sethi. "Rarely seen or heard, Law Commission's work has a great impact". Press Information Bureau (India). Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  22. ^ "Crores spent, yet obsolete laws live". Rediff India Abroad. 23 June 2008. Retrieved 7 May 2013. 

References[edit]

  1. Jain, M.P. (1984). Outlines of Indian Legal History. Bombay: N.M. Tripathi.  ASIN : B0000CQY04
  2. Mishra, Shree Govind (1993). The legal history of India, 1600-1990. New Delhi: Uppal Pub. House. ISBN 81-85565-21-X. 
  3. Char, S. V., Desika (1983). Readings in the constitutional history of India, 1757-1947. Delhi: Oxford. ISBN 0-19-561264-7. 
  4. Eugen Lang, Maurice. Codification In The British Empire And America. Lawbook Exchange. ISBN 978-1-58477-620-8. 
  5. Riddick, John A. (2006). The history of British India: a chronology. Westport, Conn.: Praeger. ISBN 0-313-32280-5. 
  6. Bryce, James Y. Studies in history and jurisprudence: Volume 1. Adamant Media Corporation. ISBN 1-4021-9046-8. 
  7. Derrett, J. Duncan M. (1973). Handbuch der Orientalistik (History of Indian Law (Dharmasastra)). Leiden: Brill. ISBN 90-04-03740-3. 

External links[edit]