State Law Commission

Democracy means rule of law. The legislature enacts laws and the executive has to implement them.  Laws are made according to the need of running an efficient Government. In final analysis, laws represent the will of the people as to how they want to be governed. In due course of time, laws pile up as some of these lose their fecundity and need to be removed as their utility is exhausted. There are other laws that need amendment or elucidation in view of the needs arising from the dynamics of social development. At the same time, more often than not, the executive suggests enacting of new laws or amending the existing ones or explanation of legal status of a particular case. Who is going to address these requirements? This question has been on the mind of the Government.
Nearly a year and half ago, the Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs had announced on the floor of the house that the Government had decided to constitute Law Commission. Summing up the functions of the Law Commission, it was said that it would review and repeal obsolete laws; identify laws, which are no longer needed or relevant and can be immediately repealed; identify laws, which otherwise require changes or amendments and to make suggestions for their amendment; consider in a wider perspective the suggestions for revision/amendment given by Expert Groups in various Ministries/ Departments with a view to coordinate and harmonize them, consider references made to it by the Ministries/ Departments in respect of legislation having bearing on the working of more than one Ministry/ Department.
A lot of file pushing has had to be done to bring the case to the stage where it finally succeeded in obtaining the concurrence of the Finance and Planning Departments. For a long time the case remained stuck up with the Finance Ministry on the issue of the quantum of manpower to be engaged and the financial viability of the new organization. The Finance Department has been of the opinion that technical and expert staff be obtained on deputation from the Law Department and that would reduce financial burden on the state exchequer. However, the Law Department expressed its inability to do so on the ground that this Department was already short of manpower. Anyway after tossing the file to and fro, the case has come to final stage at which the Law Department is now preparing a memorandum for the Cabinet to obtain its nod. It is expected that the Cabinet will give the green signal in its forthcoming meeting.
With Law Commission in place, we expect good pruning of the corpus of laws so that obsolete laws are removed, many existing laws are modified and proposals for new legislation is also made in accordance with the needs or suggestions from the departments. This will make the job of courts easier and smoother, and at the same time, will help in reducing time factor in disposing of legal cases and issues. At the same time, the Law Commission may also function in advisory capacity if and when needed by the government. We welcome the step though it has come very late.


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