• Recently, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has constituted a national level committee for reform in criminal law.



  • Committee for Reform in Criminal Law:


o The committee constituted under Ranbir Singh would be gathering opinions online by

consulting with experts and collating material for their report to the government.

o The consultation exercise would start on 4th July 2020 and go on for the next three months.

  • Background of Criminal Justice System

o The codification of criminal laws in India was done during the British rule, which more or

less remains the same even in the 21st century.

o Lord Macaulay is said to be the chief architect of codifications of criminal laws in India.

o Criminal law in India is governed by Indian Penal Code, 1860, Code of Criminal

Procedure, 1973, and Indian Evidence Act, 1872, etc.


  • Colonial Era Laws: The criminal justice system is still based on the British colonial jurisprudence,
  • which was designed with the purpose of ruling the nation and not serving the citizens.
  • Ineffectiveness: The purpose of the criminal justice system was to protect the rights of the
  • innocents and punish the guilty, but nowadays the system has become a tool of harassment of
  • common people.
  • Pendency of Cases: According to Economic Survey 2018-19, there are about 3.5 crore cases

pending in the judicial system, especially in district and subordinate courts.

  • Undertrials: India has one of the world’s largest number of undertrial prisoners.
  • According to NCRB -Prison Statistics India (2016), 67.2% of our total prison population
  • comprises undertrial prisoners.
  • Investigation: Corruption, huge workload and accountability of police is a major hurdle in speedy
  • and transparent delivery of justice.
  • Madhav Menon Committee: It submitted its report in 2007, suggesting various recommendations
  • on reforms in the CJSI.
  • Malimath Committee Report: It submitted its report in 2003 on the Criminal Justice System of
  • India (CJSI).
  • The Committee had opined that the existing system “weighed in favour of the

accused and did not adequately focus on justice to the victims of crime.”


  • India needs to draft a clear policy that should inform the changes to be envisaged in the existing
  • criminal laws.
  • It also needs to make simultaneous improvements in the police, prosecution, judiciary and in
  • prisons.
  • The focus of reform should be on reformative justice in order to bring all around peace in the

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