Centre seeks states’ advice oncriminal justice system revamp
In a letter written to Rajasthan and other state governments, a copy of which was seen by HT, Shah mentioned no particular changes while emphasising the need for change in the laws that have been in force many years and been amended several times.Updated: Sep 19, 2019 06:23 IST
To ensure speedy justice and simplify legal processes, Union home minister Amit Shah has 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, a copy of which was seen by HT, Shah mentioned no particular changes while emphasising 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 wrote 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, the letter said.
He said 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 seems necessary to bring the changes. “While giving suggestions, it 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...”
According to 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.
Singh welcomed the initiative and said the governments needed to modernise these laws for speedy justice and to take into account the use of technology