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LAW COMMISSIONS IN GOA

The first Law Commission was appointed by the government of Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu on 20th July 1968 in pursuant to the government resolution dated 18.07.1968 to examine the Portuguese Laws in force in Goa, Daman and Diu and to repeal the same wherever necessary by undertaking suitable legislation. The Government nominated Shri. Gopal Apa Kamat as the chairman, the law secretary Shri. O.P.Garg as a member and third member nominated by the chairman was Shri. Tito de Menezes. The tenure of the Commission was for a period of three years in the first instance. 

The Commission in first seven meetings scrutinized the Portuguese legislations enacted from the year 1961 to 1957. The intention was to study all the legislations from year 1961 backward up to the year 1910, the year in which the Portuguese republic was proclaimed and also the other prior legislation i.e. Portuguese Civil Code, 1867. In the eighth meeting, it was found that the experience of past months was not very encouraging, which involved cumbersome procedure of research and deliberation, which would have taken perhaps many more years to achieve the desired result. Considering the said factor, the commission abandoned the previous course of action and adopted a more radical and practical solution. The solution was to prepare a comprehensive Draft Bill for Parliamentary Legislation expressly repealing all the Portuguese laws (except those the immediate repeal of which was not considered feasible or advisable) and extending the remaining Central Acts to the extent considered necessary. 

Finally, two draft Bills were prepared and appended to the report.

1) Draft Bill no 1: Goa, Daman and Diu, (Extension and Repeal of Laws) Bill 1971 with schedule I.
2) Draft Bill no 2; The Goa, Daman and Diu Adoptions Bill, 1970.

The Commission recommended that “with the extension of the Acts mentioned in schedule I, the process of extension of such Central Acts to our Union territory would be complete. While drafting Bill no 2, namely, the Goa, Daman and Diu Adoption Bill and the modification to the Indian Succession Act, 1925 ( 39 of 1925) and the Special Marriage Act, 1954 ( 43 of 1954) our endeavour has been to implement the Directive Principle of State Policy contained in Article 44 of the constitution of India as far as possible. Thus the personal Laws as proposed by us will be uniformly applicable to all Indian citizens in our Union Territory irrespective of their caste, creed or community. This is also in consonance with the pre-liberation tradition in Goa, Daman and Diu, generally speaking”.

The Report of the Law Commission was published on 30-04-1971. After the lapse of over 40 years, the Government of Goa has appointed this Law Commission on 20-01-2009 under the chairmanship of Shri. Ramakant D. Khalap, former Union Minister of State for Law. The other two members are Shri. Cleofato Coutinho Advocate and Shri. Mario Pinto Almeida Advocate. The tenure of the Law Commission is for the period of one year from the date of taking charge of the office in the first instance. Since the Law Commission has been appointed after over fourty years, the task before the Commission is Herculian. The commission is to examine the existing legislations and suggest suitable measures requiring changes or modifications, with a view to coordinate, harmonize and simplify them and remove anomalies, ambiguities, and inequities, with specific terms of reference. The Commission has to examine the laws enacted since 1964 till date. The terms of reference for the present second Law Commission include review / repeal obsolete laws in force; laws needing amendments for reforms; detect unpermitted delegated legislative powers; provisions which are ultravires the scope of the main acts, examining the Laws in the light of the Directive Principles of State Policy and decisions of the Bombay High Court and the Supreme Court; terms and conditions of appointment of pleaders, in District and subordinates courts, additional Government advocates, including District and High Courts and the Public Prosecutors in the High Court.

The Legal Luminaries, Bar Councils, professional bodies, academic institutions and the people in general will be consulted. The seminars and workshops may be organized to elicit critical opinion on proposed strategies for reforms. The widest possible inputs from public and the concerned interest groups will be assembled. It will also welcome the suggestions from any person, institution or organization on the issue under consideration of the Commission. 

It is expected that the Law Commission will contribute in a great measure to the reforms in the existing legal structure and the laws prevalent in Goa. The task before the Commission is heavy but not un - surmountable.


The text of the Order of the Government constituting the Law Commission (No.22-3-2009-LD-Estt/L.C/712 dtd 28-05/2012 and the specific terms of reference are reproduced below.

 

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