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Impasse over Law Commission

Dynamism is the hallmark of good governance. A State is run along the laws for which the Constitution is the source. Though Constitution is the brainchild of qualified and competent persons of a society yet when laws are meant to be applied practically, they often need interpretation. Judiciary is the final authority to accept interpretation of the law. The Penal Code comes into existence through the process of interpretation of constitutional laws. At the same time, the State forms laws through the instrumentality of the sessions of the Legislative Assembly because situations arise in the course of the life of a State where new laws have to be framed. Thus each session of the Legislative Assembly adds or subtracts something to or from the fund of existing corpus of laws in vogue in a given state.
In this process, as the State moves forward, many laws from the corpus become obsolete. They are not in tune with the spirit of the time and hence lose their utility. Who is to judge which law is obsolete and should be discarded?  In view of this situation, the idea of constituting Law Commission in the State was mooted in 2013 and official agreement was expressed more than once by the State authorities. We are now running the fourth year of this announcement. At several times, the State Government authorities announced on the floor of the House that it was seized of the issue of constituting Law Commission. Even the Ministers in-charge of Law made such commitments in the public as well. However, the reality on the ground is that so far nothing has moved on the ground that would indicate Government’s eagerness to establish the Law Commission. In this way we continue to carry the backload of many obsolete laws and are unwilling to offload it. If such Commission was formed, it would be the first of its kind in the State, and we would think that the State is wedded to maintaining steady march along the path to modernity. What impression will ordinary people gather when they see that the desires and instructions of the Legislative Assembly are not carried forward by the Government? It reduces the credibility of the Legislative Assembly and is indirect disrespect of the verdict of the people at large. During the Budget Session of 2014 the then Government said that establishment of Law Commission was under active consideration and very shortly the State would get the Commission. This was notwithstanding the fact that file in this regard was shuttling between Finance, Law and Planning Departments for quite long time. There was difference of opinion among these departments over the manpower required to be kept at the disposal of Commission.
Lately again during the passing of grants of Law and Justice Department in the Legislative Assembly on January 19, 2017, the Law Minister stated that Government was shortly going to establish Law Commission. In the background of these commitments made by responsible ministers at responsible places ought to have been translated into practice by now. If the Law Commission has to come up then it must hasten to finalize the unanimous opinion among the concerned departments for re-submission to the Cabinet for its nod.


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