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Union Home Minister seeks suggestions for Amendments in Criminal Law

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Ambika bhardwaj

Published On: January 13, 2022 at 17:35 IST

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has tried to seek suggestions for amendments in the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), and the Indian Evidence Act from the judiciary, along with the Chief Justice of India, MPs, and Chief Ministers.

Shah also asked suggestions from Chief Justices of High Courts, Administrators of Union Territories, Bar Councils, and law universities in a letter dated December 31, 2021.

In his letter, Shah stated that the Union Government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “is focused on ensuring speedy justice to all Indian citizens, particularly those from the weaker and backward segments.”

The letter further stated that in accordance with the constitutional and democratic desires, the Government of India has settled to make comprehensive modifications to the criminal law framework. The experience of seven decades of Indian democracy calls for a comprehensive evaluation of our criminal laws, particularly of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) 1860, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) 1973, the Indian Evidence Act 1872, and adaptation to meet our people’s contemporary needs and aspirations.

A five-member committee to review criminal laws, which included criminalising marital rape, making sexual offences gender neutral as well as revisiting the sedition charge was formed by the Ministry of Home Affairs last year in July.

The committee was led by Dr. Ranbir Singh, Vice-Chancellor of the National Law University in Delhi and he had requested an online public and expert consultation on substantive and procedural criminal law and evidence.

Shah in his letter stated that the Home Ministry wants to make significant modifications in criminal laws in response to recommendations from diverse stakeholders. He referred to Parliament as one of the three major pillars of democracy by saying that MPs play a “substantial role in the law-making procedure”.