Reimagining Legal Reforms
The evolution of laws is a necessity, adapting to the ever-evolving landscapes of technology and society. However, the introduction of entirely novel codes with complex titles might not be the solution. These newly proposed laws raise concerns about their need and the extent of change they bring. Moreover, although these “Sanhitas” are set for examination by a Parliamentary Standing Committee, the consultation process warrants further attention.
GS-02 (Government policies and intervention)
Discuss the necessity of language symbolism in legal reforms and the importance of a comprehensive consultation process for enacting new laws. (150 words)
Dimensions of the Article:
- Scrutiny of Language Symbolism
- Pertinent Amendments and Omissions
- Procedural Revamps and Critiques
Scrutiny of Language Symbolism:
- The endeavor to embody “de-anglicisation” within the criminal law framework by adopting Hindi names is a subject of interest. Nonetheless, upon closer examination, it becomes apparent that the core content remains largely unaltered.
- A crucial question arises whether the modifications are substantial enough to warrant the formulation of entirely new laws.
- Could these changes have been achieved through amendments to the existing legal framework? This leaves us wondering whether the emphasis on Hindi names overshadowed the necessity for genuine reform.
Pertinent Amendments and Omissions:
- An encouraging aspect of these new codes is the omission of the term “sedition.” The replacement, Section 150, seems more focused, avoiding vague terms like “disaffection” or “hatred” towards the government.
- While it criminalizes secessionism and armed rebellion, the concern lies in terms like “subversive activities” and “endangering sovereignty, unity, and integrity of India.” These terms need stringent interpretation to avoid misuse.
- Another concern arises with the new Section 195, akin to Section 153B of the IPC, which penalizes the dissemination of “false or misleading information” threatening the nation’s integrity and security.
- The absence of a definition for “hate speech” raises eyebrows, especially since discussions on its delineation and punishment have been ongoing.
- On a positive note, the inclusion of provisions addressing “mob lynching” and “organized crime” is commendable.
Procedural Revamps and Critiques:
- The procedural framework introduces new features such as conducting trials of proclaimed offenders in absentia, a step towards expediting the judicial process.
- The mandatory videography of seizures enhances transparency, a much-needed addition. Similarly, the provision for deemed sanction when authorities fail to grant it within 120 days promotes efficiency.
- However, the provision allowing prolonged police custody beyond the current 15-day limit has sparked criticism, raising concerns about potential misuse.
- While legal reforms are essential, it’s imperative to assess whether these reforms necessitate the formulation of entirely new codes.
- Instead, the focus should be on substantial amendments and targeted changes that address the evolving challenges while retaining the essence of existing laws.
- A comprehensive and inclusive consultation process involving legal experts, stakeholders, and the public is vital for creating a balanced legal framework.
The notion of legal reforms to align with contemporary dynamics is commendable. However, the introduction of new codes with Hindi titles and a limited scope of change raises questions about their effectiveness. The need for a more nuanced approach to legal reform, incorporating substantive amendments and ensuring comprehensive consultations, cannot be understated. A legal framework that is truly reflective of the society it governs requires a harmonious blend of tradition and progress.