The subject of constituting a Law Commission in the State has been under discussion a various level in the State for a long number of years. Many years back, the Supreme Court of India had directed that the States should constitute Law Commissions essentially for the purpose of reviewing the existing law and suggesting the need of bringing about amendments to these for making them effective in letter and in spirit. After numerous hiccups two concerned departments, namely Law and Justice and Finance somehow agreed to float the proposal. The Law Department worked on the draft proposal of constituting the Law Commission, laying down the roadmap that included terms of reference and other legal and technical nitty-gritty and finally submitted the draft proposal to the Cabinet.
The Cabinet gave its consent and with that the streamlining of the entire proposed Commission, its structure and other related matters were finalized by the Law Department. It was proposed that the Commission would comprise a Chairperson, two full time members, two part time members, one Secretary and one Administrative Officer. In all, 28 posts were created including the senior officers mentioned above. On August 4, 2017, the department came up with terms and conditions and terms of reference of the Law Commission. It seemed that the days of dilly-dallying were over and that this much needed organization was going to see the light of the day. But what actually happened was that the matter got stuck up at the level of the Minister of Law and Justice, who is sitting on the file for last four months.
It is a matter of great surprise that the Law Minister has been part of the Cabinet that earlier gave its nod to the proposal of constituting the Law Commission. But when the last stage of issuing the order after all the exercise was done by the Law and Justice Department, the matter has got stuck up at the end of the day. We do not know the actual reasons why the Law Minister is sitting on the file but we can guess that he is indecisive about the appointment at various senior posts of the proposed Commission.
It has to be mentioned that the criterion and the qualifications stipulated for various positions created for the Commission including Chairperson, members and Secretary are already very clearly stated and there will be no confusion about it. It has also to be borne in mind that we have a galaxy of legal luminaries retired as well as in service who have more than the stipulated qualifications, experience, credibility and legal excellence to fill the posts. Obviously, the consent of the Chief Minster is a pre-requisite and has to be fulfilled. But the question is that the file is just got stuck up at the level of the Minister. From the point of view of good administration, inordinate delay in constituting the panel for the posts to be filled in the Law Commission does not go in the interests of the people of the State. There is urgent need of reviewing or reforming some of the impotent laws especially in the background of unusual conditions that prevail in the State at present and this process should not be delayed.