Raise your voice against the Criminal Law Reform Committee
The Ministry of Home Affairs recently constituted a 5-member committee to suggest reforms to the existing criminal laws in the country.
This committee has been given six-months in the middle of the pandemic to suggest reforms to the entire criminal laws of the country.
The last time something like this was attempted was in 2000 and they took 3 years to submit their report.
Nobody knows how the members of this committee were selected, or what their terms of reference are.
The current committee is not representative
It does not have a woman member
Nobody from Scheduled Castes and Tribes or religious minorities
Nor from the transgender community
It's 2020, how can a committee without any representation suggest changes to criminal laws of the country?
Why do we need to reform Criminal Laws in the middle of a pandemic?
Currently, the consultation is happening online and solely in English. The voices of the underprivileged, those from rural areas and those suffering economic distress, will be silenced if this continues. A majority of people are facing hardships due to the pandemic and it is impossible for many of them to participate.
The Code of Criminal Procedure and the Evidence Act are the source of many civil liberties we take for granted. It is absurd to think that a committee sitting in New Delhi can hold adequate consultations across the country and suggest reforms to these laws in a mere six months. As students of the law, we have written an open-letter to the committee asking them to not proceed with the process unless it is made more open and inclusive.
What can you do to help?
We encourage you to write to the Committee and the Ministry of Home Affairs to point out the above flaws in the process and ask them to postpone the process until a better time.