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State legislature competent to make amendments in criminal law: Chidambaram

New Delhi: Congress leader P Chidambaram on Tuesday welcomed the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to appoint a committee to suggest state-specific amendments to the three new criminal laws and asserted that criminal law is a concurrent list subject which makes the state legislature competent to make amendments.

He also stressed that criminal laws that are in consonance with modern principles of criminal jurisprudence must be enacted.

“I welcome the decision of the government of Tamil Nadu to appoint a Committee to suggest state amendments to the three criminal laws that came into force on 1 July 2024,” the former home minister said in a post on X.

Criminal Law is a subject in the concurrent list of the Constitution and the state legislature is competent to make amendments, Chidambaram said.

“I also welcome the appointment of Justice (retd) Mr K.Sathyanarayanan as the one-person Committee. I request the Committee to hold consultations with all stakeholders including judges, lawyers, police, law teachers, scholars and human rights activists,” he said.

Taking the first step to effect Tamil Nadu-specific amendments to the new criminal laws, Chief Minister M K Stalin on Monday ordered setting up of a one-man committee, to be led by the retired High Court judge, to study the three laws and make recommendations to the state government over making amendments.

After chairing a high-level consultative meeting at the Secretariat here to deliberate on state amendments to the central laws, Stalin directed officials to set up a one-man panel to be led by retired judge of the Madras High Court, Justice M Sathyanarayanan.

The panel would study the new laws to propose amendments including ‘state-level name change’ for the three laws.

“This committee will clearly examine the new laws, hold consultations with stakeholders including advocates at the state-level and submit a report (on state-level amendments) within one month to the state government,” an official release said.

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