Direct Centre to appoint Law Commission Chairperson or declare it as a statutory body: BJP leader moves Supreme Court

The Centre has neither extended the tenure of the Chairperson and members nor notified the formation of the Twenty Second Law Commission since August 2018, the plea states.
Direct Centre to appoint Law Commission Chairperson or declare it as a statutory body: BJP leader moves Supreme Court
law commission, Supreme Court

A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions for the appointment of the Chairperson and other members of the 22nd Law Commission of India, which continues to remain headless even after the Centre approved its constitution in February this year.

The petition by BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay and filed through Advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey states that the Court, being the custodian of the Constitution and protector of fundamental rights, may use its constitutional power to appoint the Chairperson and members of the Law Commission of India and declare it a statutory body.

The plea states that the cause of action arose in August 2018, when the tenure of 21st Law Commission ended. Since then, the Centre has neither extended the tenure of its Chairperson and members nor notified the formation of the Twenty Second Law Commission.

It goes on to state,

"Power conferred by Article 32 of the Constitution of India is in the widest terms and is not confined to issuing the high prerogative writs specified therein, but includes within its ambit the power to issue any directions or orders or writs which may be appropriate for enforcement of fundamental rights."

Thus, Upadhyay argues that even if the conditions for issue of any of these writs are not fulfilled, the Supreme Court "would not be constrained to fold its hand in despair and plead inability to help the citizen who has come before it for judicial redress".

An application under Article 32 of the Constitution cannot be thrown out simply because the proper direction or writ has not been prayed for. Thus, where an order in the nature of mandamus is sought in a particular form, nothing debars the Court from granting it in a different form.

He has also urged the Court to also ensure that his petition seeking the handover of Vohra Committee report is entertained by the Law Commission as a representation.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court dismissed Upadhyay's plea seeking handing over the 1993 Vohra Committee Report on criminalisation of politics to central agencies, observing that such a prayer was "utopian" in nature.

In this petition, he has sought for the 1993 report to be handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the Intelligence Bureau (IB), and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), among others, for a comprehensive probe into the criminal-politician nexus.

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