Socio-legal research identifies the problems likely to arise in the future for
decision, and indicates how the principles can be adapted to the solution of
such problems. In a society where spending one day in jail is a social taboo and
a degradation of reputation, incarcerating a person for minor offences is not
justified. Sometimes the offences done are not intentional, but because of
ignorance of the complexity of legal provisions.
Hence, making certain offences
compoundable or imposing fines and penalties on them will be a good method to
eradicate such things. If for petty offences everyone is going to be convicted,
then there will be serious repercussions in society, economy, living style,
etc., and it will overburden the judiciary.
"The Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2022" was introduced by Union
Minister of Commerce and Industry of India Piyush Goyal in the Lok Sabha. The
Bill got the assent from the President of India on 11st August, 2023 and becomes
"The Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Act, 2023".
The said Act is enacted
to decriminalize and rationalize certain minor offences. It decriminalizes 183
minor offences in 42 Acts administered by 19 Ministries. The changes are made in
various fields of law proposed in the Schedule of the Act, such as
pharmaceuticals, media, IT, agriculture, trade, industry, environment,
Research Problems (Hypothesis)
- Whether decriminalizing and rationalizing minor offences helps in ease of living and ease of doing business
- Whether the above-mentioned Act fulfills all the objectives contained in the Preamble
- Whether the implementation of this Statute will benefit achieving the desired goals of the nation
- Whether the Government of India addresses all the concerns raised by the enactment of the Act and any steps taken to solve those concerns
- Whether enforcement of the Act affects the socio-legal aspects
The present socio-legal research uses the 'doctrinal method' of research. The
presentation follows an explanatory kind of research to analyze and review some
of the already existing texts and discussions. It delves into both the primary
data and secondary data available on the subject matter. The primary sources of
data are taken from the legislation of the Act, customary practices, etc.
secondary sources of data used in the presentation includes various blogs,
articles, journals, newspapers, parliamentary debates, Sansad TV discussion-
"Bills and Acts", Sansad TV programme- "App Ka Kanoon" etc. related to the
topic of socio-legal research. The data for research has been collected from the
library, online books, websites, articles and already available data on the
internet. This piece of writing is not an exhaustive work on this topic. This
paper presentation will try to follow proper and structured approach to convey
the socio-legal research.
- Change or amend the outdated laws of British origin.
- Punishments for the petty offences should not be like punishments for other types of offences.
- Make it easy for foreign industries as well as our industries to do business in our country.
- Attract foreign investors to invest more in India.
- India's goal of becoming a 5 Trillion economy.
About The Act
- Sometimes it is not intentional, but due to ignorance.
- Social taboo in spending even a day in jail in our country.
- Jailed for engaging in business affects ease of doing business, which is crucial for ease of living.
It has a preamble from the very beginning of the Act, four Sections and one
Schedule in which proposed changes and amendments are written. The aim of the
Act is mentioned in its preamble. The objective of the Act is "minimum
Government and maximum Governance, decriminalizing and rationalizing minor
offences and to further enhance for ease of living and ease of doing business."
It is passed by parliament for minimum government and maximum governance. The
real goal behind the enforcement of the Act is for the betterment of the ease of
living and ease of doing business ecosystems and environments in India. Section
1 of the Act is, as usual, the short, title and commencement. Section 2 of the
above Act says about the amendments of certain provisions.
Section 3 provides
the increase in the fines and penalties by ten percent from the minimum fines
and penalties previously provided by the provisions of the respective Acts. It
will increase again in the same manner in a span of three-year intervals.
Section 4 is the savings clause of the Act and tells about the perspective
effect of the Act.
It also indicates that the Act is going to change the overall
structure of any provisions or repeal any of the Acts. It only decriminalizes
certain minor offences of various Acts by converting the provisions for
punishment of jails into fines and penalties and making some of those provisions
compoundable in nature for speedy settlement of the disputes. The Schedule of
the above-named Act contains all those things, which are mentioned in columns of
that Schedule in a structured manner.
- Enhance trust-based governance.
- Encourage in ease of living.
- Catalyze the ease of doing business.
- Increase in the amount of fines & penalties.
- To decrease the burden on the courts.
- May be used as a political tool.
- No consultations with various experts of different fields.
- Fines and penalties subject to certain terms and conditions, not specifically mentioned.
- New growing industries will be fined same as the giants' industries.
- No provisions for habitual or repeated offenders.
- Quality of Drugs, Environment Degradation, Breach of Privacy etc.
- Social injustice, rise in demand for decriminalization of offences in other fields.
Many outdated laws need to change and require amendments for the overall growth
of a nation. India's goal is to become the third-largest economy in the world
with a GDP of $5 trillion. It is already set to become a developed nation by
2047. So making an environment conducive and suitable for doing business is of
paramount importance. In our country, there are approximately 1536 laws with
70,000 compliance clauses guiding the business ecosystem. Within which 26,134
compliances are contained in the jail for non-fulfillment of such.
If some of the
minor and outdated provisions are changed then those will help the nation's
industries, start-ups and MSMEs. These alterations of various jail provisions
into fines and penalties and making certain mistakes compoundable, will attract
foreign investments, and more foreign industries will encourage them to open
their industries in India to boost our economy.
There are already 4.3 to 4.4 crore cases pending in the country, out of which 3.2 to 3.3 crore cases are
criminal in nature. There are 5.54 lakh persons confined in many jails, where
4.25 lakh convicted persons can be confined, which is also the capacity of jails
in such a country with a large population.
Decriminalizing and rationalizing
certain provisions to meet today's demand will help in the growth of the
business as well as decrease the overburden of the Courts and Jails. It also
helps to perform well in the ease of living index of many places in the
country and the ease of doing business ranking overall of the country.
These things will slowly move forward to achieve the desired goals ahead of
- National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) of India.
- National Crime Records Bureau's Prison Statistics of 2021.
- The "Ease of Living Index" of many places in India is released by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India.
- A ranking system called "Ease of Doing Business", which is published by the World Bank Group.