The Law Commission submitted its 268th report highlighted that the existing bail system in India is inefficient and inadequate to accomplish its purpose, as rich and powerful gets the bail with ease but the poor languish in jail. “Decisions about custody or release should not be influenced to the detriment of the person accused of an offence by factors such as gender, race, ethnicity, financial conditions or social status,” the report says.
India’s first Law Commission was established in 1834 via Charter Act of 1833 under the Chairmanship of Lord Macaulay. The First law commission had suggested codification of the Criminal Procedure Code and the Penal Code etc. Following important Acts are the products of Law Commissions of British Era;
The Indian Code of Civil Procedure
The Transfer of Property Act
The Indian Contract Act
The Indian Evidence Act
The first Law Commission of independent India was established in 1955 for a three year term under the chairmanship of Mr. M. C. Setalvad, the First Attorney General of India. Since then 20 more Commissions have been established. The Nineteenth Law Commission (2009-2012) was chaired by Justice P.Venkatarama Reddy. The 20th Law Commission was established in 2013 under the Chairmanship of Justice D.K Jain, and later by Mr. Justice A. P. Shah
What is the Law Commission?
Law Commission of India is an ad hoc and advisory body (i.e. neither a constitutional body nor a statutory body) The commission’s work is to do research and make recommendations for law reforms such as amendments and updations of prevalent and inherited laws. None of these recommendations is binding upon the Government. Choosing the head of the law commission is completely at the discretion of the Government. However, it is a convention that a retired judge of Supreme Court heads India’s Law Commission. The States also can constitute their own law commissions.
The composition of Law Commission:
o A full-time Chairperson.
o Four full-time Members (including a Member-Secretary).
o Secretary, Legislative Department as ex-offcio Member
o Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs as ex-offcio Member.
o There should not be more than five part-time Members.
The Commission is established for a fixed tenure (i.e. three years) and works as an advisory body to the Ministry of Law and Justice. The Commission needs to consult the law ministry before finalizing its recommendations.
Law commission is inspired by various parts of the Constitution such as Fundamental Rights and article 39A of DPSP, which says that State shall secure that the operation of the legal system to promote justice. Law Commission of India is an advisory body but has been a key mechanism in the process of law reform in India. The Commission seeks to simplify the process to curtail delays and improve standards of justice. The Commission reviews judicial administration to certify that it is approachable so that delays are eliminated, overdue cases are cleared and disposal of cases is quick as well as cost-effective without sacrificing the basic principle that they are just and fair. The Supreme Court, in many cases has followed the recommendations proposed by the law commission which highlights the importance of the latter in Indian judicial system