Related Topics: Constitution & Law, Governance
- Union Home Ministry is all set to overhaul the Indian Penal Code (IPC) designed by the British.
- Recently, the Ministry wrote to all States and Union Territories seeking suggestions to amend various sections of the IPC.
- Two committees comprising legal luminaries have also been constituted by the Ministry.
What is Indian Penal Code (IPC)?
- The Indian Penal Code (IPC) is the official criminal code of India.
- It is a comprehensive code intended to cover all substantive aspects of criminal law.
- The main feature of the Indian Penal Code is that it provides the law makers as well as enforcers with a fundamental document that maps all the laws and the liable punishments, if the laws are breached in some way or the other.
- The code was drafted in 1860 on the recommendations of first law commission of India established in 1834 under the Charter Act of 1833 under the Chairmanship of Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay.
- It came into force in British India during the early British period in 1862.
Need for the Revamp
- Rebooting the code introduced by the British in 1860 was necessary as it is primarily based on the spirit of “master and servant.”
- In the British era, the police were raised to protect their interests, but now their duty is to protect the people.
- After it was framed, the IPC has never been amended in totality. Only, some additions and deletions have been made.
- Uneven punishment exists for crimes of grievous nature. “For example — snatching of chains or bags on road. It could be life-threatening in some cases but the punishment is not commensurate with the gravity of the crime. Depending on the whims of the police, it is booked under robbery or theft.
[Source: The Hindu]