Law Commission of India
The Government of India has established the Law Commission. Its functions to ensure legal reforms in India. The members are legal experts who are given a set guidelines and working procedures by the Government of India.
Law Commission advices the Ministry of Law and justice based on its expertise. The commission functions as an advisory body for a fixed time period.
History & Current Terms of Reference
This body has been into existence since 1834, from the years of the British Raj. It was brought into course by the Charter Act of 1833.
Post Independence in 1947, twenty one more commissions were established for similar purpose.
- First – established in the year 1955 for three years
- The Nineteenth Law Commission came to fore on September 1, 2009. Justice P. Venkatarama Reddy was the Chairman of this body. The tenure for this body was to end on August 31, 2012
- The Twentieth Law Commission came to fore in 2013. Former Judge of Supreme Court D.K Jain was the Chairman of this body. The tenure for this body was to end in 2015. In November 2013 former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Justice Ajit Prakash Shah was appointed as the new Chairman of the Law Commission of India
Terms of reference for this body:
- Review / Repeal of the obsolete law
- Examination of existing laws
- Revision of Central Acts
- Special focus on laws pertaining to Gender Equality
- The Twenty First Law Commission came to fore in March 2016. Former Judge of Supreme Court Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan was the Chairman of this body
Working of the Law Commission
Law Commission of India’s primary responsibility is to function as the forbearer of law reform in the country. The commission conducts itself based on thorough research. It employs research analysts who produced reports based on their extensive study of the legal framework in India. These reports conclude on the prescribed topic and make recommendations to find the solutions. The permanent members are generally eminent law experts and jurists who define the reference to work on. Their contribution can also be part time for specific reports.
National Judicial Appointments Commission
The National Judicial Appointments Commission or NJAC was established to replace the collegium system for the appointment of judges. This body was a proposition and was established post the ninety-ninth amendment of the Indian constitution Act in 2014. It was passed by Lok Sabha on 13 August, 2014 and the Rajya Sabha on 14 August, 2014.
This body must also regulate the activities of the National Judicial Appointments Commission. Post the ratification by 16 state legislatures, the NJAC Bill and Constitutional Bill was assented by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee in December of the same year. The two bills came into fore from April 2015.
In October of 2015, the Constitution Bench of Supreme Court – under majority, upheld the collegium system and deemed the NJAC as an unconstitutional body. This was propelled by a series of petitions filed several persons and bodies with the Supreme Court advocates. The Supreme Court Advocates-On-Record Association was the leading petitioner. Four justices – J S Khehar, MB Lokur, Kurian Joseph and Adarsh Kumar Goel declared the 99th Amendment Act and NJAC as unconstitutional while Justice Chelameswar deemed otherwise and upheld it.
In November 2015, the Supreme Court stated that it is committed to attaining greater transparency in the upheld collegium system. This would be achieved under the four identified parameters:
- Transparency for the collegium system
- Eligibility criteria for the appointment of Judge
- A defined process that addresses the complaints against the existing judges
- The formation of a separate secretariat
Later in November 2015 the Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi on behalf of the central government stated to the Supreme Court that – draft memorandum will not be prepared for judicial appointments.
|Polity (Indian Constitution): Essential:|
|Introduction to the Constitution of India|
|Indian Polity by M. Laxmikanth|
|Polity (Indian Constitution): Additional:|
|Our Constitution: An Introduction to India's Constitution and Constitutional Law by Dr. Subhash Kashyap|