The process of appointing new chairman and members of the Law Commission was set in motion on Wednesday with the Union Cabinet approving reconstitution of the body which advises government on complex legal issues.
With the approval of the Union Cabinet, the Law Ministry would now constitute the 21st Law Commission as the three-year term of the 20th panel ended on August 31.
The Law Ministry is in the process of shortlisting names of retired judges to head the 21st law panel. The names shortlisted could include some high court chief justices who retired in the recent past, sources in the government said.
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The 20th Law Commission headed by former Delhi High Court Chief Justice A P Shah had given a report on its last day, recommending abolition of death penalty, except in cases of
terror and waging war against India. The report was opposed by one sitting member and two government appointees, who are ex-officio members of the body.
It had also submitted two reports on electoral reforms. With the Cabinet approving the reconstitution of the panel, it now seems that government has put on hold its plan to make it into a permanent body either by a resolution of Cabinet or an Act of Parliament.
The Commission is reconstituted every three years and is headed by a retired Supreme Court judge or former Chief Justice of a High Court.
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The Commission was first constituted in 1955 and is re-constituted every three years.
The various Law Commissions have been able to make important contribution towards the progressive development and codification of laws of the country. Law Commissions have so
far submitted 262 reports, a statement issued on the Cabinet decision said.