Haryana govt initiates steps to decriminalise certain laws

The Haryana government on Friday held a meeting here to discuss the modalities of decriminalising certain laws, according to an official statement.

“The objective of this exercise is to improve the ease of doing business and ease of living for citizens by reducing burdensome compliances prescribed in certain acts/rules. The exercise aims to simplify, digitise, decriminalise, and rationalise compliances,” it said.

Chief Secretary Sanjeev Kaushal, who presided over the meeting, said the primary goal is to avoid registering FIRs, imprisoning people or putting them on trial for minor violations of these laws, which are not serious in nature.

“Instead of treating them as criminal acts, they may be treated as civil offences or regulated through administrative measures, fines, or other non-criminal penalties,” he said.

Kaushal directed all administrative secretaries to submit a report on decriminalisation of laws and acts in their respective departments within a fortnight.

The departments have also been tasked with reviewing 319 acts to identify provisions that could be decriminalised.

The chief secretary also said the objective of the exercise is to foster a business and industry-friendly environment in the state, recognising that certain minor transgressions may occur as part of regular work and these should not be treated as criminal offences.

Kaushal said that various departments of the state government have taken this initiative enthusiastically and so far, 28 acts have been decriminalised.

He said the departments are actively engaged in the exercise and have been conducting an exhaustive analysis of acts, rules, regulations and notifications “to reduce the burdensome compliances in the state.”

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