Seeking to bring comprehensive changes to the criminal laws to provide affordable and speedy justice and create a people-centred legal structure, the government has initiated the process of amending the Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code and Indian Law on evidence in consultation with stakeholders. , the Rajya Sabha was notified on 7 April 2022.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has also solicited suggestions from Governors, Chief Ministers, Lieutenant Governors and Administrators of Union Territories, Chief Justice of India, Chief Justices of various High Courts, Bar Council of India, Bar Council of various States and Members of Parliament regarding comprehensive amendments to criminal laws, Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju said in a written response.
The Minister also informed that a committee headed by the Vice Chancellor of the National Law University, Delhi and four other members was constituted on March 2, 2020 by the MHA to propose reforms to the criminal laws of the country.
The committee had solicited suggestions through a questionnaire based on secondary research and expert input uploaded to its website, which received responses from various organizations, research centers, academics, lawyers and civil societies in all the countries.
After extensive consultation and research with stakeholders, the committee submitted its recommendations on February 27, 2022 on the three criminal laws – IPC, CrPC and Indian Evidence Act.
The parliamentary standing committee on home affairs, Mr Rijiju said, in its 146th report, had recommended that there was a need for a comprehensive review of the country’s criminal justice system.
Previously, the Parliamentary Standing Committee in its 111th and 128th Reports also highlighted the need to reform and streamline the country’s criminal law by introducing comprehensive legislation in Parliament rather than making piecemeal amendments to the respective laws.