Sunday, 20 September 2015

Constitution of the 21st Law Commission of India

Law Commission of India is an executive body established by an order of the Government of India. Its major function is to work for legal reform. Its membership primarily comprises legal experts, who are entrusted a mandate by the Government. The Commission is established for a fixed tenure and works as an advisory body to the Ministry of Law and Justice.

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval on the Constitution of the 21st Law Commission of India, for a period of three years w.e.f. 1 September 2015 to 31 August, 2018.

The 21st Law Commission will consist of:
  1. a full-time Chairperson;
  2. four full-time Members (including a Member-Secretary);
  3. Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs as ex officio Member;
  4. Secretary, Legislative Department as ex officio Member; and
  5. not more than five part-time Members.
The Commission was originally constituted in 1955 and is re-constituted every three years. The various Law Commissions have been able to make important contribution towards the progressive development and codification of laws of the country. Law Commissions have so far submitted 262 reports.
The term of the 20th Law Commission headed by former Delhi High Court Chief Justice A P Shah ended on 31 March 2015. Other prominent members of the commission included Justice Usha Mehra, Former Judge, Delhi High Court and Prof. (Dr.) Mool Chand Sharma, Former Vice-Chancellor, Central University of Haryana.
The task entrusted upon the Law Commission is to undertake research in law and review of existing laws in India for making reforms therein and enacting new legislations either on a reference made to it by the Central Government or suo-motu.
Commission also has to undertake studies and research for bringing reforms in the justice delivery systems for elimination of delay in procedures, speedy disposal of cases, reduction in cost of litigation etc.

The other functions of the Law Commission shall, inter-alia, include:

  1. identification of laws which are no longer relevant and recommending for the repeal of obsolete and unnecessary enactments;
  2. suggesting enactment of new legislations as may be necessary to implement the Directive Principles and to attain the objectives set out in the Preamble of the Constitution;
  3. considering and conveying to the Government its views on any subject relating to law and judicial administration that may be specifically referred to it by the Government through Ministry of Law and Justice (Department of Legal Affairs);
  4. considering the requests for providing research to any foreign countries as may be referred to it by the Government through Ministry of Law & Justice (Department of Legal Affairs);
  5. preparing and submitting to the Central Government, from time to time, reports on all issues, matters, studies and research undertaken by it and recommending in such reports for effective measures to be taken by the Union or any State; and
  6. performing such other functions as may be assigned to it by the Central Government from time to time.

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