Plans to turn Law Commission into a statutory body

According to a draft cabinet note prepared by the Law Ministry, a proposal is being mooted to bring in Law Commission of India Bill, 2010 to provide statutory powers to the panel which advises the government on complex legal issues.

The move is aimed at bringing continuity in the functioning of the Commission, sources in the Law Ministry told PTI.At present, the Union Cabinet reconstitutes the Law Commission every three years. After the Commission is reconstituted, a new Chairman and members are selected to run the panel.

Sources said that by bringing the necessary changes, the Law Commission would become an "independent" body with a much larger staff."This will help it bring out more reports without compromising on quality as three years is a limited time," said an official.
A statutory body is created by an Act of Parliament or state legislatures.

Since the third decade of the 19th century, Law Commissions were constituted by the government from time to time and were empowered to recommend legislative reforms with a view to clarify, consolidate and codify particular branches of law whenever the government felt the necessity for it.

The first such Commission was established in 1834 under the Charter Act of 1833 under the Chairmanship of Lord Macaulay which recommended codification of the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code.

The Indian Code of Civil Procedure, the Indian Contract Act, the Indian Evidence Act, the Transfer of Property Act are products of the first four Law Commissions. The reports of the Law Commission are considered by the Law Ministry in consultation with the administrative ministries concerned and are submitted to Parliament.

They are cited in courts, in academic and public discourses but are not binding on the government.

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