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As we get closer to the great grand election, there is much talk about the enforcement of the moral code of conduct across the country. It is a sad reality that in a country with a rich history and heritage, the politicians and leaders need to be reminded about the etiquettes of public speaking. The seat of judiciary in New Delhi, the Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Law Commission to look into the issue of hate speeches made by leaders of political, social and religious outfits and consider framing guidelines to regulate provocative statements. This week, freewheeling will focus on the Law Commission.  

Law Commission of India is an executive body consisting of legal experts established by the Central Government whose major function is to work for legal reform. More than a dozen research personnel work for this organisation. The administrative side is taken care of by the secretarial staff.

 From the 1830s , Law Commissions have been constituted from time to time to recommend reforms to clarify on particular branches of law. The first law commission was established in 1834 under Lord Macaulay. The second, third, fourth Law commissions were constituted in 1853, 1861 and 1879 respectively. These Law commissions have played a great role in enriching the Indian Statute Book. The Indian Code of Civil Procedure and the Transfer of Property Act are products of the labour of the first four Law Commissions.

The first Law commission of independent India was established in 1955 with Setalvad as Chairman. As of today, there have been 20 Law Commissions, each with a term of three years.  The present Law Commission (the twentieth) came into effect from September 1, 2012 and its term ends on August 31, 2015.

Areas of work  

The Law Commissions identify laws which are no longer relevant, not in harmony with the existing climate, and laws which require change. It also suggests suitable measures for quick redressal of citizens’ grievances, in the field of law. Law Commission takes all necessary steps to make the poor benefit out of the legal process. These are just a few of the many things that the law commission does. Apart from examining the laws for promoting gender equality and suggesting amendments, it also recommends revision in the central acts.

The Ministry of Law in consultation with the concerned administrative ministries considers the reports of the law commissions and submits it to the Parliament. Subsequently, they are acted upon by government departments concerned.

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