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Report No. 249

30. Coroners Act, Act 4 of 1871

Category: Criminal Justice

Recommendation: Repeal and enact a new Coroners Act

This Act amended the law relating to coroners. However, this Act has a limited extent and provides for the appointment of coroners only within the local limits of the ordinary original civil jurisdiction of the High Courts of Bombay and Calcutta. The High Court of Delhi, in Social Jurist, a Civil Rights Group v. Union of India [WP (C) No. 6179/2007], recommended the Law Commission to examine whether a legislation like the Coroners Act, 1988 in force in the United Kingdom is needed in India.

Consequently, the Law Commission, in its 206th Report (June 2008) carried a proposal for enactment of a new Coroners Act applicable to the whole of India. The Law Commission recommended repeal of the 1871 Act and the enactment of a new Coroners Act which extends to the whole of India.

In this regard, the Law Commission proposed the Coroners Bill, 2008, the text of which is annexed to the 206th Report. Hence, the Central Government should repeal the 1871 Act and take up the Coroners Bill, 2008 (as recommended by the Law Commission) for consideration. This Act was also recommended for repeal by the PC Jain Commission Report (Appendix A-5).


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