Judicial Reforms

Comprehensive Amendment of Criminal Laws


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Criminal laws mentioned

Mains level: Need for reforming criminal justice system

The Central government has initiated the process for comprehensive amendment of criminal laws in India in consultation with all stakeholders

Criminal Laws in India

Indian criminal laws are divided into three major acts:

  1. Indian Penal Code, 1860: It is a comprehensive code intended to cover all substantive aspects of criminal law.
  2. Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973: CrPC defines the rules with which substantive laws can be enforced.
  3. Indian Evidence Act, 1872: It contains a set of rules and allied issues governing the admissibility of evidence in the Indian courts of law.

Other laws

Besides these major acts, special Criminal Laws are also passed by the Indian Parliament which includes:

  • Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act
  • Prevention of Corruption Act
  • Food Adulteration Act
  • Dowry Prohibition Act
  • The Defence of India Act, etc.

Issues with these laws

  • Colonial ideas prevail in the code.
  • Some laws don’t reflect the aspirations of India’s liberal Constitution
  • It does not recognize the individual agency of citizens of free India
  • Too many laws promote patriarchal attitudes, biased against women
  • Sedition laws are misused by the state
  • Tech crimes, cyber crimes, sexual offenses need to be defined
  • Risk of excessive policing, which leads to harassment of people.
  • Need to harmonize statute books with court rulings, which have often expanded the rights of people.
  • Some provisions are disadvantageous for the underprivileged who are trapped in jail for long but favour the powerful, who get bail very easily
  • Influence of media trials on the judiciary while using the IPC.

Why amend them?

  • The evolution of criminal laws is a continuous process.
  • They need to be made in accordance with the contemporary needs and aspirations of people.
  • Malimath Committee has called for reform in India’s criminal justice system.

Progress made to date

  • The entire procedure is a long-drawn-out one and no time limit can be fixed or given for this legislative process.
  • Legislation of such laws is a complex and lengthy exercise given the spectrum of divergent views of stakeholders.
  • The Home Ministry is seeking suggestions from various stakeholders and judicial luminaries in this regard.


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2 years ago

Civilsdaily team आपका यह प्रयास सराहनीय है दैनिक समसामयिकी को लेकर। चूंकि आपका ये सब कंटेंट इंग्लिश में होता है जो कि हिंदी माध्यम का छात्र होने के नाते हमें उसका हिंदी समझने में कठिनाइयां होती रहती है । चूंकि अंततः एक अच्छी जानकारी और उत्तर – लेखन के लिए मुझे हिंदी भाषा में ही सब तरह से बेहतर होना है और इसमें सहज भी हूं। अतः आपसे नम्र निवेदन है कि कृपा कर ये दैनिक समसामयिक को हिंदी में भी देने की एक नई पहल करें। मुझे आपकी हर कंटेंट काफी लाभदायक और रमणीय लगता है लेकिन अंततः मुझे ‘काश ये हिंदी में भी होता’ जैसी इंग्लिश में लिखी कंटेंट को पढ़ने के बावजूद निराशा में डूबना पड़ता है हर दिन। आशा कि एक पुल आपसे बांध रहा हूं , कृपा कर मेरे इस सुझाव को स्वीकार कर जल्द ही अपना प्रतिक्रिया दें।।।

धन्यवाद !!


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