Union Government on 10 March 2016 appointed former Supreme Court judge Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan as the chairperson of the 21st Law Commission. The post was vacant since September 2015 when the commission was constituted.
At present, Justice Chauhan is heading the Cauvery River Water Disputes Tribunal. He was a judge of the Supreme Court from May 2009 to July 2014. Earlier from July 2008 to May 2009, he served as the Chief Justice of Orissa High Court.
The 21st Law Commission was constituted through a Union Government Order with effect from 1 September 2015. It has a three-year term, ending on 31 August 2018. The Commission presently comprises of three members, Member-Secretary and Secretary to the Union Government, two ex-officio members and Secretary to the Law Commission of India.
Present members are:
• Justice Ravi R Tripathi, a former judge of the Gujarat High Court, was appointed as the member of the commission. He retired as judge May 2015.
• PK Malhotra, Member-Secretary and Secretary to the Union Government
• PK Malhotra, Law Secretary Member (Ex-Officio)
• Dr. G Narayana Raju, Secretary (Legislative) Member (Ex-Officio)
• Dr. Pawan Sharma, Secretary to the Law Commission of India
Terms of Reference of the 21st Law Commission are as follows:
• Review/Repeal of obsolete laws including laws which are not in tandem with atmosphere of economic liberalization.
• Examine the Laws which affect the poor, carry out post-audit for socio-economic legislations and take all such measures as may be necessary to harness law and the legal process in the service of the poor.
• Keep under review the system of judicial administration to ensure that it is responsive to the reasonable demands of the times.
• Examine the existing laws in the light of Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) and to suggest ways of improvement and reform and also to suggest such legislations as might be necessary to implement the DPSP and to attain the objectives set out in the Preamble to the Constitution.
• Examine the existing laws with a view for promoting gender equality and suggesting amendments thereto.
• Revise the Central Acts of general importance so as to simplify them and to remove anomalies, ambiguities and inequities.
• Recommend to the Government measure for making the statute book up-to-date by repealing obsolete laws and enactments or parts thereof which have outlived their utility.
• Consider and to convey to the Government its views on any subject relating to law and judicial administration that may be specifically referred to it by the Government through Ministry of Law and Justice (Department of Legal Affairs).
• Consider the requests for providing research to any foreign countries as may be referred to it by the Government through Ministry of Law and Justice (Department of Legal Affairs).
• Examine the impact of globalization on food security, unemployment and recommend measures for the protection of the interests of the marginalized.
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When: 10 March 2016