A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking direction to the Centre to constitute a Judicial Commission or an expert committee to examine all domestic and international laws relating to corruption and crime and draft a comprehensive and stringent Indian Penal Code ( One Nation One Penal Code ) in order to secure rule of law, equality before law and equal protection of laws.
The PIL further seeks direction to Centre to ascertain the feasibility of implementing a comprehensive stringent Indian Penal Code ( One Nation One Penal Code ) instead of existing outdated ineffective Laws relating to Corruption – Crime and directions to improve India Ranking in Rule of Law Index and Corruption Perception Index.
The petition has been filed by Supreme Court Senior Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay through Advocate Ashwini Kumar Dubey.
According to the PIL , the cause of action accrued on 4.5.2020 and subsequent dates when Home Ministry constituted Committee for Reforms in Criminal Law .
It is submitted that all five Members of the Committee are Men and there is not a single former Supreme / High Court Judge, former Solicitor / Additional Solicitor General, retired IAS / IPS Officer, Social Activist and Journalist in this Committee. This Committee is neither inclusive nor competent enough to draft a new IPC ( One Nation One Penal Code ) . Hence, the Executive act is arbitrary and irrational .
The Petitioner stated that , injury to public due to 161 years old colonial IPC is extremely large . India is governed by the Rule of Law , which is integral part of Article 14 , but due to ineffective outdated complex and cumbersome colonial IPC , India is ranked 69 in the Rule of Law Index . Similarly , Corruption is the biggest threat to not only democracy – development but also right to life liberty and dignity guaranteed under Article 21 but India is ranked 86 in Corruption Perception Index.
Petitioner further submitted that Rule of Law and Right to life liberty & dignity can’t be secured without implementing a stringent and comprehensive ‘ One Nation One Penal Code ‘ having specific chapters on bribery , money laundering , black money , profiteering , adulteration , hoarding , black marketing , drug smuggling , gold smuggling and human trafficking .
“Our scientists successfully tested nuclear bombs, made world’s most lethal Agni-Brahmos Missiles, launched 104 Satellites together and 5G network and made world’s best and cheapest Covid Vaccine. But Center failed to draft a comprehensive stringent Indian Penal Code ( One Nation One Penal Code ) having offenses relating to Corruption and Crime in order to secure rule of law and right to life , liberty and dignity ” , said the Petition.
It is highlighted by the Petitioner that purposive – harmonious construction of Articles 14 commands ‘ One Nation One Penal Code ‘ and it was the dream of framers also but Center did nothing in this regard till date .
Petitioner claimed that having 12 monthly diaries will be much problematic to use and maintain for a common man, as compared to a single annual diary. Similarly, maintaining separate volumes for all Parts and Schedules of the Constitution will be very difficult to use even for the Judges and Advocates. Likewise, keeping 20 books to cover 20 chapters of physics or chemistry, will be very difficult to handle in comparison to one book having 20 chapters. Similarly, ‘One Nation One Penal Code’ having chapters on bribery, money laundering, black money, profiteering, adulteration, hoarding, black marketing, drug smuggling, gold smuggling and human trafficking would be more effective than separate law for every offence.
The Center is planning to celebrate the 75th year of Independence in a New Parliament, though existing one was constructed in 1927. But not Willing to replace the outdated ineffective complex of the Cumbersome colonial IPC which was made in 1860 by the Britishers, for the Britishers’ , alleged the petition.
Upadhyay laid emphasis that if IPC had been even a little effective, then many Britishers would have been punished, not the freedom fighters. In fact, the main reason behind creating the IPC 1860 and Police Act 1861 was to prevent another revolt like that of 1857. Center is spending around 1000 crore public money to construct a ” New Parliament ‘ so that India may celebrate its 75 ” Independence in a ” New Parliament ‘ . But Center is not willing to repeal ineffective outdated complex and cumbersome 161 years old colonial IPC and 160 The years old archaic Police Act , even though the cost of drafting a new comprehensive and effective IPC & Police Act will be much less. Therefore, a stringent and comprehensive IPC can be drafted within six months with the help of these intellectuals”,
The PIL further said that Lord Macaulay created the IPC to meet the Britisher’s requirements, not to secure justice for Indians. It is based on colonial perception of Britishers to rule India and on “ master – servant ” attitude. Therefore, revamping is essential to shift the power from Rulers to the People. The restructuring of IPC is desirable as many of its provisions have become obsolete with changing socio – economic developments and technological advances .
“Crimes like mob lynching , financial crimes , white – collar crimes , economic crimes , etc. , have not found proper recognition in IPC 1860. There is uneven punishment for crimes of grievous hurt . For example , chain – snatching can be life-threatening but this is not taken into consideration and equivalent punishment is not provided for the same. It is booked under robbery or theft depending upon the police mood. Witch Hunting Law, Goonda Act, Honor Killing, Mob Lynching etc. is not included in IPC though these are pan India offenses . Few States have protection against such offenses , but sentence is different for the same offence. 2021 : There is a dire need to repeal 161 years old outdated ineffective cumbersome colonial IPC and implement a comprehensive IPC ( One Nation One Penal Code ) but Center is not taking steps “, the PIL reads