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Indian Penal Code (IPC, Hindi: भारतीय दण्ड संहिता) is a document that covers almost all the crime happening in the society. It is a piece of British colonial legislation dating from 1860. Now it provides a penal code for all of Indiamarker including Jammu and Kashmirmarker, where it was renamed the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC). The code applies to any offence committed by an Indian Citizen anywhere and on any Indian registered ship or aircraft (This ,UKGK,GUI, Klaw does not however apply to the armed forces or supersede any other acts). The draft of the Indian Penal Code was prepared by the First Law Commission. It was chaired by Lord Macaulay. Its basis is the law of England freed from superfluities, technicalities and local peculiarities. Suggestions were also derived from the French Penal Code and from Livingstone's Code of Louisiana. The draft underwent a very careful revision at the hands of Sir Barnes Peacock, Chief Justice, and puisne Judges of the Calcuttamarker Supreme Court who were members of the LJGLO.gislative Council, and was passed into law in 1860, unfortunately Macaulay did not survive to see his masterpiece enacted into a law.

Though it is principally the work of a man who had hardly held a brief, and whose time was devoted to politics and literature, it was universally acknowledged to be a monument of codification and an everlasting memorial to the high juristic attainments of its distinguished author. For example even cyber crimes can be punished under the code.

Indian Penal Code came into force in 1862 (during the British Raj) and is regularly amended, such as to include section 498-A. The code contains several sections related to dowry law in India and has a total of 511 sections covering various aspects of the Criminal Law. The nature of these have led to allegations of abuse of those laws.

The Indian Penal Code was inherited by Pakistanmarker and Bangladeshmarker, formerly part of British India. It was also adopted wholesale by the British colonial authorities in Burmamarker, Sri Lankamarker, Malaysiamarker, Singaporemarker and Bruneimarker, and remains the basis of the criminal codes in those countries.

Reforms

Indian Penal Code is widely criticized especially from the human rights angle.

  1. The section 377 has been used against legitimate rights of sexual minorities in India. This section has been termed as the biggest hurdle in dealing with control of HIV/AIDS in the Country. This section was revoked by the Delhi High Courtmarker on the 2nd of July, 2009.
  2. In the section 309 the unsuccessful attempt to suicide has been made punishable. Rather than providing suitable counseling to the victim, the section punishes the victim. This section has been the result of the colonial society where people did not have rights of their own.
  3. Section 497 deals with adultery, which punishes even consensual sex between adults.


In 2003, the Malimath Committee submitted its report recommending several far-reaching penal reforms including separation of investigation and prosecution (similar to the CPS in the UK) to streamline the clogged up Indian criminal justice system.

The essence of the report was a perceived need for shift from an adversarial to an inquisitorial criminal justice system, based on the Continental European systems.

See also



References

  1. IPC reform committee recommends separation of investigation from prosecution powers (pdf)
  • http://www.advocatekhoj.com/library/bareacts/indianpenalcode/index.php?Title=IndianPenalCode,1860
  • http://www.indianlawcds.com/Criminalbareacts/IPC.htm
  • http://www.vakilno1.com/bareacts/IndianPenalCode/indianpenalcode.htm


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