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LAW REFORMS COMMISSION KERALA Final Report Vol I

LAW REFORMS COMMISSION KERALA Final Report Vol I

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LAW REFORMS COMMISSION KERALA
LAW REFORMS COMMISSION KERALA

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01/27/2013

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The Law Reform Commission, Kerala, which undertook with the zeal
of a patriotic mission, the task of transforming the legal system, discovered
the Himalayan dimensions of the majestic project of Reform when viewed in
the light of the magnificent Terms of Reference. Realizing the immensity of
the work, the Commission chose to inscribe its study to a limited canvas but
indicated the vast potential, limitless amplitude and perennial process of Law
Reform in a constantly changing global culture. It is imprudent and fatuous to
essay in a brief span a giant agenda. Such an ambitious goal would be sensible
only for a permanent Commission, not for us. We are under no illusion that
our Commission has extraordinary capacity to attempt an almost impossible
task. We are not celestial in faculty, manpower and jurisdiction. We are
small, know we operate as a State Commission and functionally submit to a
few months duration. One is reminded of E.M. Forster’s famous words, “it is
the vice of a vulgar mind to be thrilled by bigness, to think that a thousand
square miles are a thousand times more wonderful than one square mile,
and that a million square miles are almost the same as heaven”.

Avoiding this egregious blunder of infinite power but aware of the
patriotic wonder of proposing salutary changes geared to social justice and
constitutional perspective necessary in the dynamic days of rapid and radiant
value transitions, we adopted a pragmatic attitude towards Law Reform. It is
beyond us to claim deep dialectal insights of sociology or understanding of
diagnosis of the social pathologies or, for that matter of scholarly solutions
from a legislative pharmacopoeia. What we have achieved through our humble,
humanist endeavour is reflected in the nearly hundred socialist innovative
draft Bills accompanying this Report. We are conscious of ‘the little done and
the undone vast’. But we have made clear the direction in which Law Reform
must move. This Commission has no pretentions of performing the grand
objectives set for it by the State’s terms of reference. Even so, Operation

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139

Law Reform realistically assessed in the present situation of Law India leaves
much to be desired from the angle of the have-not Indian humanity. Indeed,
our present proprietariat, jejune jurisprudence, reminds one of the anonymous
poem,

“The law locks up both man and woman

Who steals the goose from off the common,

But lets the greater felon loose

Who steals the common from the goose.”

We have a Socialist Republic and so change is a must. The command
of our Constitution and the demand of the tryst with destiny we made on the
Declaration of Independence desiderate revolutionary legislative activism. Yes,
we can, we must. Why? Change we need. Our moment is Now. Surely,
hostile forces stand in the way of the fulfillment of Indian humanity’s aspirations
but we shall overcome. Our Report just begins the inauguration of a Blueprint
for Change.

The total number of Bills, including amendment bills, new Rules,
Regulations, guidelines or amendments to exisiting Rules, Regulations and
guidelines framed and being recommended are included in Volumes II and III
of this Report.All the Bills and other recommendations have been
circulated to all members by sending their copies by e-mail except to the
Chairman, Vice Chairman, Sri T. P. Kelu Nambiar, Barrister M. P. R. Nair and
Sri P. B. Sahasranaman who were all actually involved in the drafting of the
Bills and other recommendations.It is to be noted that except one member
who has expressed his difficulty to agree with the Hartal Regulation Bill, nobody
else has raised any objections to any of the recommendations.Hard copies
of all the Bills and other recommendations have been forwarded on different
dates to the Hon’ble Chief Minister for the consideration of the Government.

The conclusion of the Report closes our function in a formal sense
but as Chairman of the Commission—and the Commission wholly agrees
with the sentiment expressed—I record with gratitude the Commission’s

LAW REFORMS COMMISSION REPORT 2008

140

appreciation of the personnel who have made it possible to complete the
work undertaken by the Commission.Among the members, the
Vice Chairman Sri Justice T. V. Ramakrishnan has rendered Herculean service
and our Report has become possible only because of his industrious
contribution.The Chairman also feelingly expresses the wish that one
member Sri T. P. Kelu Nambiar, Senior Advocate and outstanding jurist has
lent constant moral, ideological, cultural and luminous counsel whenever the
Chairman or the Vice Chairman sought his critical and correctional opinion on
controversial issues which came up for the proposal of draft legislative Bills at
the formative stage of several discussions.The Commission is deeply
appreciative of Sri Kelu Nambiar’s compassionate help despite his age and ill
health which the Chairman valued considerably in the course of his
labours.Barrister M. P. R. Nair and Sahasranaman too have devoted
considerable time and attention to various aspects of the Commission work
in substantial measure.Their contribution deserves profound appreciation.
Dr. Gopalakrishnan with academic proficiency has served the Commission as
a member with special reference to certain legislative Bills which require
academic scholarship.Dr. N. R. Madhava Menon despite his extraordinary
crowd of work and busy schedule has rendered help whenever required.
Dr. P. J. Alexander whose academic talent and practical experience have
made his unique in certain ways and he has helped substantially in the
preparation of the Kerala Police Act.Sri Gopal Subramaniam, Additional
Solicitor General of India, Sri C. P. Sudhakara Prasad, Advocate General of
Kerala, Dr. V. D. Sebastian, Prof. M. K. Prasad, Dr. Leelakrishnan,
Dr. Chandrasekhara Pillay, Dr. Sebastian Chembapilli, Dr. Sunny, Dr. Ramesh,
President, I.M.A. Kerala Chapter and others have also supported the
Commission one way or the other.Above all, Justice K. T. Thomas,
Justice V. Bhaskaran Nambiar and Justice Kurian Joseph,
Justice C. N. Ramachandran Nair, Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan, Justice
Harun-Ul-Rashid, Justice M. M. Pareed Pillay, Justice P. K. Shamsuddin,
Senior Advocate M. K. Damodaran, Advocates Kabeer, Mohammed,
Vaidyanathan, Johnson,Vakkom Vijayan, K. L. Varghese and V.Rajasekharan
Pillai and many others have morally and pragmatically made the Commission
obliged to them by concrete assistance.So is the case with Mr. P. J. Francis,
Retired I. G. of Registration who has been responsible for drafting three
amendment Bills.

LAW REFORMS COMMISSION REPORT 2008

141

Last, but certainly not the least, the Commission also places on record
our deep sense of appreciation to the staff members of the Commission
Mr. P. Parameswaran Moothath, Executive Officer, Mr. George James and
Antony two relieved officers of the Law Department deputed by the
Government to assist the Commission, Mrs. Chandrika Aravindan,
Stenographer-cum-Computer Operator and Mr. Sivakumar, A.S., Computer
Operator and Mr. Anil Abraham for rendering sincere and dedicated service to
the Commission.

Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer,

Chairman,
Law Reforms Commission, Kerala

Justice T. V. Ramakrishnan,

Vice Chairman,
Law Reforms Commission, Kerala

MEMBERS

Justice C. S. Rajan

Sri T. P. Kelu Nambiar

Sri Varkala Radhakrishnan

Dr. Sebastian Paul

Barrister M. P. R. Nair

Sri P. B. Sahasranaman

Prof. N. S. Gopalakrishnan

Dr. N. K. Jayakumar

MEMBERSECRETARY

Sri P. S. Gopinathan

LAW REFORMS COMMISSION REPORT 2008

142

AnnexureA
Reform of the Muslim Matrimonial Law

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