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NEW DELHI(PTI): The Law Ministry has forwarded a list of 48 former judges of High Courts and Supreme Court to the Prime Minister’s Office to select the next Law Commission Chairperson, a post lying vacant since September last.
The term of the 20th Law Commission ended on August 30 and the Union Cabinet approved creation of the 21st Law Commission on September 9 last. The Law Ministry brought out a notification to create the 21st law panel on September 14 last, but so far the chairman and its members have not been appointed.
As per the notification, besides the chairman, it will have four full-time members, including member secretary, two ex-officio members — the Law Secretary and Legislative Secretary– and not more than five part-time members.
Besides the chairman and members, the government will also have to appoint member secretary. Member secretary G Narayan Raju was recently appointed as the Legislative Secretary.
The Commission is reconstituted every three years and is usually headed by a retired Supreme Court judge or former Chief Justice of a High Court.
A serving high court or Supreme Court judge can also head it. There is a provision to appoint chairman from ‘other categories’ which means a jurist or a retired bureaucrat. Usually, a former chairman is not appointed, but exceptions can be there.
Once the appointments are made, the panel will have to look at the issue of revamp of the criminal justice system and recommend a bail law to ensure uniformity in the procedure of granting the relief. The two issues are pending with it for a long time.
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The Commission was first constituted in 1955 and is re-constituted every three years. The various Law Commissions have been able to make important contribution to progressive development and codification of laws.