Parl panel ‘disappointed’ as no appointment of chairperson, members in Law Commission

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The Print, March 24, 2022

A parliamentary panel on Thursday expressed disappointment over the “snail’s pace” of appointment of chairperson and members of the Law Commission, a body which advices government on complex legal issues, saying it fails to understand the delay in filling up the vacancies in an important organisation whose three-year term is about to end.

The Committee said it desires that the chairperson and members of the law panel may be appointed for a full-term of three years, instead of the remaining period from the date of constitution of the LCI (Law Commission of India), “for its meaningful tenure and functioning.” It recommended that the Department of Legal Affairs in the Law Ministry should furnish its views on the suggestions of the Committee.

In its report on the Demands for Grants (2022-23) of the Department of Legal Affairs, the Parliamentary Committee on Law and Personnel noted that the Union Cabinet had approved the constitution of the 22nd Law Commission of India and a gazette notification for the same was published on February 21, 2020.

“However, the Committee observes that even after more than two years of its constitution, the appointment processes of chairperson and members of the Commission is yet to be completed. The Committee is disappointed with the snail’s pace of their appointment processes, as a body whose tenure itself is three years is now in its third year without a chairperson and members,” the committee headed by BJP Rajya Sabha member Sushil Modi said.

The Committee said it “fails to understand” as to why the post of chairperson and members are vacant for such a long time in such an important body like the Law Commission.

“The Committee feels that since more than two-and-a-half years have already elapsed, appointment of chairman and members for the remainder (term) would not serve the desired purpose. The Committee desires that the chairman and members of the LCI may be appointed for full-term of three years, instead of the remaining period from the date of constitution of the LCI, for its meaningful tenure and functioning,” it said.

The three-year term of the 21st Law Commission, headed by former Supreme Court judge B S Chauhan had ended on August 31, 2018.
In June 2016, the Union Law Ministry had asked the 21st law panel to examine matters in relation to uniform civil code. After detailed research and a number of consultations held over the course of two years, the Commission had issued a consultation paper on reform of family laws in India.

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