NEW DELHI: Union Home Minister Amit Shah has written to all states and Union Territories asking them to suggest changes in IPC, CrPC, Evidence Act, and Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances to make Indian criminal laws more people-friendly, this paper has learnt.
The letter, addressed to the chief secretaries, has asked the states and UTs to study the four laws in detail and make suggestions for bringing amending these laws.
The letter is the first step in reforming the Criminal Justice System of India which has not undergone any substantial changes even after 72 years of Independence, said a senior government functionary.
He said the Home Ministry has also been considering revisiting the Malimath Committee Report on reforms (2003) in the Criminal Justice System of India (CJSI).
The report submitted in 2003 had suggested 158 changes in the CJSI but the recommendations weren’t implemented.
The Committee had opined that the existing system “weighed in favour of the accused and did not adequately focus on justice to the victims of crime.”
Earlier at a public event, Shah had called for nationwide consultation for effecting changes in IPC and CrPC.
“There should be countrywide consultation in the matter. Everybody in the country should be allowed to give suggestions. All recommendations should be documented and sent to the ministry. We should go forward on this,” Shah had said.
The Indian Penal Code (IPC) is the official criminal code of India drafted in 1860 on the recommendations of first law commission of India established in 1834 under the Charter Act of 1833 under the Chairmanship of Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay.
The Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) is the main legislation on procedure for administration of substantive criminal law in India. It was enacted in 1973 and came into force on 1 April 1974.
The Indian Evidence Act, originally passed in India by the Imperial Legislative Council in 1872, contains a set of rules and allied issues governing the admissibility of evidence in the Indian courts of law.
The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, commonly referred to as the NDPS Act, is a law that prohibits a person to produce/ manufacture/cultivate, possess, sell, purchase, transport, store, and/or consume any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance.