- Justice Verma Committee, 2013
- On amendments to the Criminal Law so as to provide for quicker trial and enhanced punishment for criminals accused of committing sexual assault against women.
- Recommended insertion of Section 53A in the Indian Evidence Act wherein previous good character should become irrelevant in criminal proceedings.
- V.S. Malimath Committee, 2003: reforms in the criminal justice system
- The panel recommended a modification to Article 20 (3) of the Constitution that protects the accused from being compelled to be a witness against himself/herself. The Committee suggested that the court be given freedom to question the accused to elicit information and draw an adverse inference against the accused in case the latter refuses to answer
- The panel recommends replacing "proof beyond reasonable doubt" with "if the court is convinced that it is true" as basis to convict accused in criminal cases
- Recommended setting up of a National Security Commission and State Security Commissions
- M.R. Shamshad committee - Delhi riots
- Kris Gopalakrishnan committee - The committee was formed by ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) , to formulate a framework for Non-personal data (NPD)
- Kihoto Hollohan versus Zachillu, 1992: Judicial review for member disqualification is only available after final decision by the Speaker/Chairman. Till then he acts as a tribunal.
- Information Technology
- Anuradha Bhasin vs Union of India, 2020 - Internet ban in Jammu and Kashmir under the pretext of Section 144
- Police Reforms
- Prakash Singh v. Union of India (2006) - Supreme Court pushing for legislation for governing police forces. Grievance redressal was a key component
- Joginder Kumar v. State of UP, and D.K. Basu v. State of West Bengal - Guidelines for right to life and right to know. To ensure that an accused person is made aware of all critical information regarding her arrest and also convey this to friends and family immediately in the event of being taken in custody.
- Sexual assault
- Shri Bodhisattwa Gautam v. Shubra Chakraborty - suggest that a large number of women still fail to report rapes to the police
- Mahmood Farooqui v. NCT of Delhi (2017) - On consent in relationship
- Raghbir Singh v. State of Haryana (1980), Francis Coralie Mullin v. Union Territory of Delhi (1981)
- Sheela Barse v. State of Maharashtra (1987) : Court condemned cruelty and torture as violative of Article 21
- DK Basu v. State of West Bengal: Prisoners and detainees are not deprived of their Fundamental Rights under Article 21 barring restrictions permitted by law
- Nilabati Behera v. State of Orissa: Supreme Court made sure that the state could no longer escape liability in public law and had to be compelled to pay compensation
- July, 20
- Madhya Pradesh Council of Ministers exceeding prescribed limit
- Controversy over Justice Krishna Dixit's “misogynistic” remarks
- "Committee for the Reform of Criminal Laws" created by Ministry of Home Affairs. Its consultation exercise would start on July 4 and go on for the next three months.
- Non-personal data committee invites public comments on framework
- Kihoto Hollohan versus Zachillu, 1992 case in judicial review powers of high court
- Article 371A - Special provision with respect to the state of Nagaland
- Article 371A (1) (b) - important functions like "transfer and posting of officials" entrusted with the maintenance of law and order of and above the district level will be with the approval of the Governor.
- Right to Health
- Right to Health is an integral part of Right to Life as enshrined in Article 21.
- Article 38 lays down the responsibility of the state to secure social order for the in promotion of the welfare of public health.
- Article 39 (e) pertains to the protection of health of the workers.
- Article 41 relates to providing public assistance by the state in special circumstances such as sickness, disability, old age etc.
- Article 42 protects the health of the infant and the mothers, i.e. in a way, it pertains to maternity benefit.
- Article 47 imposes a primary duty of the state in improvement of public health, in securing of justice, providing humane conditions of work for the workers, extension of benefits pertaining to sickness, disability, old age and maternity benefits. In addition to this, the state is under an obligation to prohibit the consumption of liquor in the interest of the public good.
- Article 48A: State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.
- Article 164 (1A) : The total number of Ministers, including the Chief Minister, in the Council of Ministers in a State shall not exceed 15% of the total number of members of the Legislative Assembly of that State
- Article 48A - State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.
- Article 51 A - Every citizen shall protect the environment.
- Article 159 : Oath or affirmation by Governor
- Article 174 : Empowers Governor to decide on session sittings of Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council, but no more than six months should pass between two sittings. It also allows Governor to Prorogue either House and dissolve Legislative Assembly.
- Article 175 : Governor may address the Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council, and can require attendance of its members. Governor may also send message (pending Bills, functioning of House, order, etc) to either House, and the respective House will have to consider the said message
Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) codes
- Section 144
- Power to issue order in urgent cases of nuisance of apprehended danger.
- It authorizes the Executive Magistrate of any state or territory to issue an order to prohibit the assembly of four or more people in an area. According to the law, every member of such 'unlawful assembly' can be booked for engaging in rioting.
- Also referred as 'gag order'
Indian Penal Code (IPC) codes
- Section 188: Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant. It is sufficient that he knows of the order which he disobeys. It can lead to imprisonment of 6 months and/or a fine of Rs 10000
- Section 295: Damage to a place of worship or an object held sacred, punishable with imprisonment which may extend to two years, or fine, or both.
- Section 300 and 302: Mob Lynching - Lynching incidents can be dealt with under Section 300 and 302 of IPC. IPC does not specifically describes lynching
- Section 330 and 331: causing hurt or grievous hurt to extort confession
- Section 383: Extortion
- Section 497 and 498: Adultry
- Section 498A: Domestic violence
- Section 506: Criminal Intimidation. non bailable remand
- June, 20
- Madhya Pradesh Council of Ministers exceeding prescribed limit
- Section 188: Lockdown curbing, in Uttar Pradesh alone, as of 29th April, 2020, FIRs have been registered against 33094 people under Section 188 of IPC during the period of lockdown.
- July, 20
- Governor of West Bengal cites Article 159 of deteriorating condition of state
- 10 yr old dalit girl booked for sacrilege in Punjab
- Rajasthan Governor allows holding of Assembly session
- Aug, 20
- Section 188 - Cases of hospitals and ambulances overcharging public during pandemic
Arms Act, 1959
- Is an Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to arms and ammunition
- Arms Act (Amendment), 2019 - The amendment reduces number of licensed firearm to 1, bans firearm manufacturing without license, 10 years to life imprisonment for taking firearm from a police personal, upto 2 years imprisonment for using firearms in celebratory gunfire
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967
- UAPA enables the government to impose ‘reasonable restrictions’ on the fundamental right to association (Article 19). The executive could declare any organization as unlawful and designate and criminalize what it deemed as ‘unlawful activities’, under Section 3.
- The 2004 amendment defined terrorism act as a crime and granted powers to the central government to declare organizations as “terrorist” and impose a ban against them
- Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019
- Bill additionally empowers the government to designate individuals as terrorists
- if the investigation is conducted by an officer of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the approval of the Director General of NIA would be required for seizing properties that may be connected with terrorism
- Under the Act, an investigating officer is required to obtain the prior approval of the Director General of Police for seizing properties
- The Bill empowers the officers of the NIA, of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases.
- Under the Act, investigation of cases may be conducted by officers of the rank of Deputy Superintendent or Assistant Commissioner of Police or above.
- June, 20
- Delhi riots
- UAPA : Elgaar Parishad case / Bhima-Koregaon case, Sharjeel Imam case
Attorney General of India
- Article 76 : Attorney General of India
- President shall appoint a person who is qualified to be appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court to be Attorney General for India. In other words, he should have been a high court judge for five years or an high court advocate for 10 years
- In the performance of his duties the Attorney General shall have right of audience in all courts in the territory of India
- The Attorney General shall hold office during the pleasure of the President, and shall receive such remuneration as the President may determine
- Duties - Attorney General is required to appear on behalf of government
- in all the cases in Supreme Court in which the Government of India is concerned.
- in any reference made by the president to the Supreme Court under Article 143 of the constitution.
- in any case in a high court in which the Government of India is concerned, if Government of India requires so.
- He has right of audience in all courts in the territory of India.
- He can be part of parliamentary committees to which he is a member.
- He has the right to speak or to take part in the proceedings of both the Houses of Parliament and their joint sittings [Article 88], but without a right to vote. He enjoys all privileges and immunities that are available to member of parliament
- Attorney General can not defend accused persons in criminal prosecutions without the permission from government
Solicitor General of India
- Attorney General has two law officers Solicitor General of India (SG) and Additional Solicitor General of India (ASG). Law officers have a tenure of 3 years, and can be terminated with a 3 months notice by either side
- They are statutory posts and not constitutional. Appointments Committee of the Cabinet(ACC) recommends the appointment and president officially appoints the Solicitor General
Contempt of Court Act, 1971
Contempt refers to the offence of showing disrespect to the dignity or authority of a court. The Act was based on the recommendations of Sanyal committee
- The Act divides contempt into civil and criminal contempt.
- Civil contempt refers to the wilful disobedience of an order of any court.
- Criminal contempt includes any act or publication which: (i) ‘scandalises’ the court, or (ii) prejudices any judicial proceeding, or (iii) interferes with the administration of justice in any other manner.
- ‘Scandalising the Court’ broadly refers to statements or publications which have the effect of undermining public confidence in the judiciary.
- Fair and accurate reporting of judicial proceedings will not amount to contempt of court. Nor is any fair criticism on the merits of a judicial order after a case is heard and disposed of.
- The punishment for contempt of court is simple imprisonment for a term up to six months and/or a fine of up to ₹. 2,000.
- Article 129: The Supreme Court shall be a court of record and shall have all the powers of such a court including the power to punish for contempt of itself
- Article 142: The Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it
- Article 142(2): Subject to the provisions of any law made in this behalf by Parliament, Supreme Court shall have power to make any order for the purpose of securing the attendance of any person, the discovery or production of any documents, or the investigation or punishment of any contempt of itself
Judgements in focus
- February 2020 Supreme Court judgment on criminalisation in politics
- Political parties to publish the entire criminal history of their candidates for Assembly and Lok Sabha elections along with the reasons that goaded them to field suspected criminals over decent people.
- Information should be published within 48 hours of selection in a local as well as a national newspaper as well as the parties’ social media handles
- June, 20
- Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on PIL about migrants
- Aug, 20
- Plea in SC against contempt law by Prashant Bhushan
- Article 142 for implementation of Ayodhya verdict
- Union of India vs Valluri Basavaiah Chaudhary, 1979 - Governor was a constitutional head of the State Executive, and has to act on the advice of the Council of Ministers.
- Shah Bano case, 1985: Supreme Court in the Shah Bano case, held that the statutory right granted under Section 125 of the CrPC is applicable to all persons, irrespective of personal laws. This paved way for Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986.
- July, 20
- Rajasthan Assembly crisis