Law commission

Center should make Law Commission a constitutional or statutory body, says HC

The court is upset with the government. non-filling vacancies

The court is upset with the government. non-filling vacancies

The Madras High Court ordered the Union Government to consider making the Law Commission of India a constitutional or statutory body.

“What is the use of constitutional courts to issue judgments and make recommendations to promulgate laws when they are not effectively followed up by the legislator? What is the use of having a Law Commission of India without its recommendations being acted upon,” he asked. He also ordered the Union government to appoint nodal officers in each department to follow judicial recommendations, in addition to taking a call to make the law commission a constitutional or statutory body.

Judges N. Kirubakaran (since retired) and B. Pugalendhi also took note of the fact that the positions of Chairman and members of the 22nd Law Commission had not been filled to date and ordered that these positions be filled within three months. If unsuccessful, the union’s legal secretary must appear in court, they warned. The judges also ordered the Union government to consider enacting legislation fixing state tort liability for losses caused to citizens due to the negligence of government officials.

The court delivered the judgment while disposing of a motion for writ which complained that the Union government had yet to enact legislation in the area of ​​torts and state liability, although such a recommendation was made by the first Law Commission in 1956. Although a bill was introduced in 1965 and reintroduced in 1967, it lapsed in 1970. Subsequently, nothing was done to enact such a law despite the Supreme Court’s 2011 and 2014 verdicts stressing the need for it.

Agreeing with the submissions of litigant K. Pushpavanam, the panel, led by Judge Kirubakaran, said it was essential to have a state tort law. He lamented that such a law had not been passed even after half a century since the first Law Commission made its recommendation and said that many other recommendations of the Law Commission had also been shelved. cold. “If this is the attitude of the government, it will make people think that there is no need for a law commission,” he wrote.

The judges disapproved of the practice of successive law commissions having served without any statutory support and ordered the Union government to allocate more funds and adequate infrastructure to the Commission to carry out research activities. They pointed out that most of the laws enacted during colonial rule, but which remain in vogue today, were those enacted based on recommendations from the Law Commission. Even after independence, the Law Commission made an immense contribution.

Yet, ironically, only 40% of its recommendations have been implemented and no decision has been made on the rest, the House lamented. Stating that recommendations made by the courts to enact laws or amend existing laws have also fallen on deaf ears, the bench said: “If that is the case, this court is of the view that restraint demonstrated by the courts in exceeding their jurisdiction to encroach upon the realm of the legislature should be abandoned… This may be criticized as judicial adventurism or judicial activism, but it is a necessary duty in the public interest.