While on tour of US, PM Modi in his Howdy Modi event has stressed on a point. He said his government is working for welfare of his people and also working on bidding Farewell to many of the obsolete laws. He emphasized on the necessity of bringing about Reformation of many laws.
Now the Home Ministry is all set to overhaul the Indian Penal Code (IPC) designed by the British. A senior government official has said rebooting the code introduced by the British in 1860 was necessary as it is primarily based on the spirit of “master and servant.”
On September 28, Home Minister Amit Shah while speaking at a function in Delhi had said that the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) should work on a proposal to amend various sections of the IPC and the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.PC) after seeking suggestions from people across the country.
Amit Shade. appoint that, in the British era, the police were raised to protect their interests, but now in the Independent India their duty is to “protect the people,” He also mentioned that more than 34,000 policemen across the country lost their lives in the line of duty.
Recently the Ministry wrote to all States and Union Territories seeking suggestions to amend various sections of the IPC.
Two committees comprising legal luminaries have also been constituted by the Ministry.
“The idea behind the overhaul is that the master-servant concept envisaged in IPC should change. After it was framed, the IPC has never been amended in totality. Some additions and deletions have been made,” the official said in an interview.t
There are many uneven punishment for crimes of grievous nature in the existing penal codes. And there is a need to standardize the law.
Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), police reforms and other criminal justice laws have been pending since 1996, when a model police law was suggested by a Padmanabhaiah Committee.
In 2016, the Supreme Court also urged the Centre and states to reform police laws while disposing of a plea by former Uttar Pradesh director general of police Prakash Singh.
To ensure speedy justice and simplify legal processes, Union home minister Amit Shah has now sought suggestions from state governments on changes that may be required in four key criminal justice laws – The Indian Penal Code (IPC),
Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC),
Arms Act and
The Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS).
In a letter written to Rajasthan and other state governments, Home minister Amit Shah mentioned no particular changes while emphasizing the need for change in the laws that have been in force many years and been amended several times.
The Indian Penal Code was enacted in 1860, CrPC in 1973, Arms Act in 1959 and NDPS in 1985. In the letter to Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, Shah had written that the Centre makes amendments to such laws from time to time after a review.
In 2018, through the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, the laws for crime against women were made stricter.
In 2019, amendments were made in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967; and the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008.
After 70 years of Independence and keeping in mind the vision of a New India; and with an objective of strengthening law and order, it is necessary to bring the changes.
Amit Shah has made a point that the suggestions, needs to be ensured that the revised law is as per the democratic expectations and capable of providing speedy justice to women, children, weaker section of the society.
Dr Sindhu Prashanth