[dropcap]T[/dropcap]HE Union Cabinet today approved the constitution 22nd Law Commission of India for a period of three years from the date of publication of the Order of constitution in the Official Gazette.
The Union Minister Prakash Javadekar told the media that “the government will have the benefit of recommendation from a specialised body on different aspects of law which are entrusted to the Commission for its study and recommendation”.
The government is yet to constitute the body of the Commission. It consists of a full-time Chairperson, four full-time Members (including Member-Secretary), Secretary of the Department of Legal Affairs as ex-officio Member, Secretary of Legislative Department as ex-officio Member and not more than five part-time Members.
The Law Commission of India is an advisory body to the Ministry of Law and Justice and has played a key role in the process of law reforms in India. The reports of the Commission have been recognised by the Supreme Court of India and by academia, as pioneering. In a number of decisions, the Supreme Court has referred to the work done by the Law Commission and followed its recommendations.
It has been more than one and a half year when the tenure of last Commission- 21st Law Commission had come to an end. The 21st Law Commission was constituted by the authority of the President of India for three years from September 1, 2015, and expired on August 31, 2018.
The last, 21st Law Commission, was headed by a former judge of the Supreme Court, Justice B S Chauhan. In the period of three years, the 21st Law Commission released 15 reports and two consultation papers and had taken up issues such as hate speech, implementation of United Nations Convention against Torture, uniform civil code, and sedition, among others.
The 21st Law Commission expired at a crucial time when the Commission was deliberating on several key issues. At times, the Law Commission through its reports has been critical of the Union Government’s policies.
It is widely accepted that the functioning of the Law Commission is crucial in the larger public interest and for formulating strong public policies.
Although Law Commission has not been provided by the Constitution, yet it is inspired by various parts of the Constitution particularly Article 39 A which directs that the “State shall secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice …”.