Where are the supporters? Under-staffed law panel awaits members to complete reports on sedition, bail

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The Law Commission, which has been asked to examine the need to amend the sedition law, is working with a Chairman and just one member since March, while it awaits visit of 8 more members. The regard to the 20th Law Commission had ended on August 30 and the Union Cabinet had authorized its reconstitution on September 9.

Between September 14– when a main alert was issued and March 10, the law panel was without a chairman or members. On March 10, previous Supreme Court judge, Justice B S Chauhan was selected chairman and Justice Ravi Tripathi, a former judge of the Gujarat High Court, a member.

According to the alert issued by the Law Ministry on September 14 making up the 21st Law Commission, it would have a chairman, four full-time members consisting of a Member Secretary and not more than 5 part-time members.

A senior Indian Legal Service officer, equivalent to a Secretary, is appointed as Member Secretary. After G Narayan Raju was selected Legislative Secretary in the Law Ministry in October last, the post has actually been laying uninhabited. Among the key issues pending before the law panel is a get in touch with modifying the Indian Penal Code amidst claims of abuse and arbitrary use of the law.

The Law Ministry had urged the Commission to study the usage of the arrangements of Section 124A (Sedition) of the IPC.

The panel will have to look at the issue of revamp of the criminal justice system and advise a bail law to ensure harmony in the treatment of giving the relief. The 2 issues are pending with it for a very long time. PTI NAB

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