SC Told Centre Considering Amendments in IPC, CrPC

The Centre told the Supreme Court on Thursday it is considering amendments to the Indian Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The submission was made by Attorney General R Venkataramani before a bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice J B Pardiwala during the hearing of a PIL challenging a CrPC provision related to service of summons only to a family’s male member if an accused in a criminal case is unavailable.

The central government is actively considering amendments in criminal laws, the law officer said, adding, “Consultations have taken place. In fact, I have personally asked the government to take an active role in this. Some of this (amendments) has to do with the sedition laws.”

When the bench asked the top most law officer about the relevance of the submission that the change in sedition law was also in the offing, he said the government was actively looking at amending the CrPC and the IPC.

The AG sought adjournment and requested that the matter be listed after the monsoon session of Parliament.

“We are informed that amendments in CrPC and the IPC are under active consideration,” the bench said and fixed the PIL filed by Kush Kalra for further hearing in the last week of July.

Earlier, the top court had on November 21 last year issued a notice to the Centre besides seeking the attorney general’s assistance on the PIL challenging a CrPC provision related to service of summons on a family’s male member alone if an accused in a criminal case is not available.

The plea alleged the provision discriminates between male and female and is violative of various fundamental rights, including the right to equality.

“Service when persons summoned cannot be found: Where the person summoned cannot, by the exercise of due diligence, be found, the summons may be served by leaving one of the duplicates for him with some adult male member of his family residing with him, and the person with whom the summons is so left shall, if so required by the serving officer, sign a receipt therefor on the back of the other duplicate,” reads section 64 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The PIL said the provision provides for serving the summons only to male members of the house if the accused is not found and this is violative of various fundamental rights.

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