The Union Government on Thursday informed the Supreme Court that the Center is actively considering amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The bench comprising CJI DY Chandrachud and Justice JB Pardiwala was hearing a petition challenging Section 64 of the Code of Criminal Procedure on the grounds that the said section discriminates against women through…
The Union Government on Thursday informed the Supreme Court that the Center is actively considering amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Bench includes CJI DY Chandrachud and Judge JB Pardiwala It was considering a petition challenging Article 64 of the Code of Criminal Procedure on the grounds that the said article discriminates against women through the treatment of female family members who are unable to accept the summons on behalf of the person summoned.
The text of Article 64 of the Penal Code is as follows:
“If, after due diligence, the summoned person cannot be found, the summons may be sent by leaving one of the copies for him with an adult male family member who resides with him.“
At today’s hearings, the Attorney General of India R Venkatramani initially informed the bench that the government is actively considering amendments to the criminal laws.
“been consulted. In fact, I have personally asked the government to take an active part in this matter. Some of this has to do with sedition laws.” AJ said.
When CJI DY Chandrachud asked about the relation of the Sedition Act to this matter, the Attorney General explained that the Central Government was actively looking into amending the entire CrPC and IPC Act. Accordingly, he asked the tribunal to include the matter after the monsoon session of Parliament.
We have been informed that the CrPC and IPC are under active consideration for amendments, as indicated by the Tribunal in the order.
The issue is now listed in July 2023.
It should be noted that in March 2020, the central government have formed Criminal Law Reforms Committee to submit proposals for revision of IPC, CRPC and Indian Evidence Act 1872. The committee was chaired by Prof. Dr. Ranbir Singh, then Rector of National Law University Delhi and consisted of Prof. Dr. G.S. Bajpai, then Registrar. of NLU-D, Prof. Dr. Balraj Chauhan, VC of DNLU, Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani and GP Thareja, Former District and Sessions Judge, Delhi.
In February 2022, the committee submitted a report to the government, after taking suggestions from the public. In April 2022 Ministry of Law had said to Rajya Sabha The government has undertaken a comprehensive review of the criminal laws.
In October 2022, Federal Home Minister Amit Shah said he was personally looking into the matter. “We will bring new drafts of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the International Patent Commission to Parliament in a short time.” He said. However, the government did not introduce any bill in this regard in the subsequent winter session or the last budget session of Parliament.
What is the subject matter of the political isolation law?
According to the petition, while the Civil Procedure Code, passed in 1908, required the summons to be served on any adult member of the defendant’s family regardless of their sex, the Civil Procedure Code, passed 65 years after the Criminal Procedure Code, was “anarchic and dogmatic.” “. It states that-
“Cr.PC does not consider an adult member of the household capable and competent to receive the summons.“
According to the petition, the exclusion of female family members from receiving the summons on behalf of the summoned person violates women’s right to equality under Sections 14 and 15 of the Constitution of India, and the right to know under Section 19.(1)(a) of the Constitution of India, and the right in the dignity afforded to them under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The petition adds that –
“In the Madras High Court, a petition titled J. Kavitha v. Union of India, challenging discrimination against women under Section 64 of the Criminal Code, in which the Ministry of Law and Justice of the Union of India was considered the defendant. In this regard, the Ministry of Law and Justice of the Indian Union supported not notifying the summons to females in order to preserve their privacy. The ministry also justified not notifying the summons to females, taking into account the Bardanashin females.“
It stated that this ruling also endangers the victim’s right to a speedy trial, which is guaranteed to him under Article 21 of the Constitution. According to the petition, apart from significantly delaying the proceedings, Article 64 of the Code of Criminal Procedure creates difficulties for all other stakeholders involved as well.
In addition, the petition notes that this provision does not consider the following cases:
a. When the summoned resides only with female family members, or;
b- When the only person available at the time of submitting the summons is a female.
She stated that the possibility of such situations occurring is particularly high in light of the stark gender gap in the labor force between males and females, that is, only 22% of Indian women work, which means that the remaining 78% of women work. they are at home.
Case Title: Kush Kalra v. UoI and Anr. Working paper (c) No. 958/2022