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Law Commission should draft crucial bills, not panel with 'part-time' members: Chidambaram

Chidambaram said in a post on X that the Union home ministry constituted a committee in May 2020 for reforms of criminal laws that had a chairman, convenor and members.
Last Updated : 07 July 2024, 15:13 IST

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New Delhi: A day after Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar lashed out at him over his "part-timers" remark on the new criminal laws, Congress leader P Chidambaram on Sunday said drafting of such crucial bills should have been entrusted to the Law Commission and not to a committee whose members served part time.

Chidambaram said in a post on X that the Union home ministry constituted a committee in May 2020 for reforms of criminal laws that had a chairman, convenor and members.

Its composition was changed from time to time but, in the end, the committee had a convenor and five members, the former Union home minister said.

All but one member were serving professors of various universities and served as part-time members of the committee, Chidambaram said.

It is this committee that submitted drafts of the three new criminal laws, he said.

Eventually, Parliament passed the laws, he added.

"I maintain that the drafting of such crucial bills should have been entrusted to the Law Commission and not to a committee whose members served part time and had other responsibilities," the Congress leader said.

His remark came a day after Dhankhar lashed out at him over his comment that the three new criminal laws were "drafted by part-timers".

The vice-president termed the comment "inexcusable" and urged the Congress leader to withdraw his "derogatory, defamatory and insulting" observation.

Dhankhar said he was "shocked beyond words" when he read Chidambaram's interview to a leading national daily in which he had said that "the new laws were drafted by part-timers".

Addressing an event in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday, Dhankhar referred to Chidambaram's comment and said, "Are we part-timers in Parliament? It is an inexcusable insult to the wisdom of the Parliament… I do not have words strong enough to condemn such a narrative being set afloat and an MP being labelled as a part-timer." "I appeal to him (Chidambaram) from this platform, please withdraw this derogatory, defamatory and highly insulting observation about the Members of Parliament (MPs). I hope he does it," the vice-president had said.

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Published 07 July 2024, 15:13 IST

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