19September2017

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President Pranab Mukherjee sparks fresh debate calls for revision of IPC

President Pranab Mukherjee calls for a revision of the Indian Penal code to meet the needs of the 21st century.

Amidst a national debate over the use of sedition charges against Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students, President Pranab Mukherjee called for a revision of the Indian Penal code to meet the needs of the 21st century.

Speaking at an event in Kochi on the occasion of the year-long celebrations of the 155th anniversary of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the President said that it has undergone very few changes since its inception.

"The IPC has undergone very few changes in the last 155 years. Very few crimes have been added to the initial list of crimes and declared punishable," he said at the valedictory event on the occasion of the year-long celebrations of the 155th anniversary of IPC.

"Even now, there are offences in the code which were enacted by the British to meet their colonial needs. Yet, there are many new offences which have to be properly defined and incorporated in the code," he said.

The premier code for criminal law was a model piece of legislation but requires a "thorough revision to meet the changing needs of the 21st century", he said.

President Pranab Mukherjee also said that the police in the country must incorporate inclusiveness and tolerance. He even added that the image of police depends on its actions and in ensuring prompt, equitable and fair enforcement of laws.

"The Rule of Law is the cardinal principle on which a modern state rests. It has to be upheld at all times. It is incumbent on the law enforcing agencies, particularly the police force, to fulfill its foremost duty of maintaining law and order sincerely and with dedication.

"...The onus is on our law enforcing agencies to work towards transforming the archaic police system and bring it in tune with the requirements of a modern democratic nation," he said.

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