The Law Commission has commenced work to remove discrepancies and bring consistency in the provisions of criminal law by making them straight and ridding of clauses in the bail law that create difficulties for the poor to come out of jail despite getting relief from court, Chairman B S Chauhan has said.
The panel is re-looking into the provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and Indian Evidence Act, to determine whether there was a need for revising them.
Chauhan said there was a need for examining some of the provisions like the power of magistrate and the issue of bail as there have been a large number of cases in which poor people despite getting relief are inside the jail for want of bail bonds and local sureties.
Besides the issue of bail, Chauhan said the Commission has received a reference from the Centre which calls for doing away the inconsistencies in the power of the magistrates.
He said the inconsistencies relate to the provisions in the CrPC which permit magistrates to try cases but bar them awarding sentence of more than seven years and there are some offences which are triable by the magistrates but the maximum sentence is life imprisonment.
"So for those offences which can be triable by the magistrate and he cannot give punishment above seven years, the magistrate takes the route of section 323 of CrPC and before trying it, commits it before the sessions court.
"These are the uncertainties under the criminal law. These are some of the provisions in criminal law which need to be relooked and there is need to straighten them," Chauhan told PTI.
He said the work in this regard has started and suggestions are being sought from various stake holders including police, lawyers and academicians.
"We have started working on all these issues and last week we had a extensive meeting involving people from Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) and senior police officers from various states," he said.
Chauhan added that the issue of problems for poor in meeting the requirements of bail was discussed threadbare.
The reference from central government on these aspects has been pending for considerable time, he said.
(With PTI inputs)