Thirty queer feminists and activists have called for the disbanding of the Criminal Law Reforms Committee constituted by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to "recommend reforms in the criminal laws of the country".
The activists stated that the composition of the committee lacks diversity in terms of those communities that bear the brunt of criminal law – cisgender women, queer and trans* persons, religious minorities, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, persons with disabilities, and persons from rural and urban working class communities.
They complained that the committee's consultation process is "severely exclusionary".
"The mere publication of questionnaire on an online website calling for feedback is not a method of public consultation for reform in laws that touch every citizen's life. The Committee has not disclosed a plan of how it will consult with vulnerable communities that are disproportionately impacted by criminal law and not accessible via the internet", said the statement.
They called for the disbanding of the Committee, which was called "unrepresentative and undemocratic".
The composition of the Committee, which was constituted last May, is as follows:
The committee is mandated with the task of reforming "substantive, procedural and evidentiary criminal law in the country i.e. the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Indian Evidence Act, as per the information in the online notification.
Several persons, including former SC/HC judges, lawyer, academicians, activists etc have called for the disbanding of the Committee on the ground that it is not really representative and that the process was not transparent and democratic.
Former SC/HC Judges, Lawyers Seek Reconstitution Of Central Committee For Reforms In Criminal Law To Include Academic Representation, Trial Court Lawyers, Women, Dalits, Etc.
Lawyers/Activists Seek Reconstitution Of Central Committee For Reforms In Criminal Laws In Accordance With Principles Of 'Participatory Democracy'
NLU-D Alumni Urge Chairperson Of Criminal Law Reforms Committee To Halt Its Proceedings; Indulge Into Wider Public Consultation
Read the statement of queer/feminist activists
statement of queer/feminist activists