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Re-Writing Criminal Law in India

Kamran Adil

The Government of India Act, 1833 (often known as the Charter Act, 1833) authorized the East India Company to enact laws for the British India and to govern it as a government. Under the law, a Law Commission was established that was headed by Lord Macaulay. The Law Commission started working in 1833 and by 1837, it had done its basic work. One of the founding principles of the Law Commission was codification of laws. The codification of laws was primarily influenced by the works of Jeremy Bentham who insisted on the necessity of codification of laws for the sake of clarity and uniformity. Accordingly, codes of penal and procedure laws were prepared. The Indian Penal Code, 1860, the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 were drafted under the same auspices and the approach of codification was symbolized through these legislations.