Being the drafting office of India for the Legislative Department, drafting and finalising the Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2023 {Jan Vishwas Bill) was a unique experience, and for me in particular. The drafting of the Jan Vishwas Bill was challenging and has left everlasting institutional memories for the Legislative Department and also an unmatched professional experience for me as a Legislative Counsel.

Jan Vishwas- Trusting the People

  • As the short title of the bill suggests, the bill is part of the Prime Minister’s vision to implement various measures to trust the people, rather than the Government just securing people’s trust. The bill was one of the series of programmes intended to ease the living and doing business in the country, namely encouraging self-attestation of documents, the creation of a national judicial data grid, the senior citizen’s welfare fund, the central registry of securitisation asset reconstruction and security interest, and other electronic portals, and so on and so forth. New laws governing goods and services tax, insolvency, and bankruptcy, as well as amendments to the company law, were also in place.

Drafting Challenges

  • Legislative drafting involves creativity; the drafting of a law involves giving flesh, blood, brain, soul, and spirit for it to live for a long time. Even as a team of reasonably experienced legislative counsel, we had to embark on certain different terrain and a bit of innovation too in finalising the draft in a short time.

Right Formatting

  • Once we were clear that we would draft only a single bill covering all the enactments and amendments, the next task was to decide on an appropriate format for the introductory and preliminary parts of the bill, and then arranging the substantial portion of amendments. We made an initial mental framework for designing the bill and suggested that all the amendments would be grouped under a common schedule in a tabular form, containing the details regarding the short titles of the Acts, Act numbers, and amendments sought to be made, under different columns for easy comprehension. This method was accepted by DPIIT and was appreciated by many.

Periodical Revision of Fines and Penalties

  • The objective of the new law is to convert imprisonment for minor offences to a monetary penalty wherever possible and to rationalise the penalties depending on the gravity of the offences. It is to avoid dragging people to court premises for smaller or petty contraventions or unintended violations; instead, the bill provides for monetary penalties and adjudication by authorities other than formal criminal courts.

Key objectives of Jan Vishwas 2.0: 

The Jan Vishwas 2.0 exercise will further build upon the Jan Vishwas Act, 2023, inculcating the learnings from its novel predecessor exercise. The scope of compliances identified for decriminalisation shall have three primary sources for the identification of burdensome and minor criminal provisions:

  1. Targeted approach: Jan Vishwas 2.0 may inculcate a targeted approach for selected Central Ministries that have direct and significant implications for the ease of doing business. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry; the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, and the Ministry of Textiles administer 42 Acts with direct implications and impacts on the ease of doing business which are being considered priority.
  2. Working Group Recommendations: The Joint Parliamentary Committee on Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Act, 2023, recommended the appointment of a group to examine other Acts and carry out an exercise similar to the Jan Vishwas Act. The Working Group on decriminalisation is conducting regular meetings to discuss and identify specific provisions for decriminalisation.
  3. Central Acts with an overriding effect on burdensome State legislation.
    Given the mammoth universe of archaic and redundant legislatures in India. The decriminalisation effort needs to be a continuous exercise. As stated by Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, "With our best intentions, the Jan Vishwas 2.0 bill will take us one step forward, but we will possibly need Jan Vishwas 3.0".


  • Decriminalisation is a step towards creating a universe of voluntary compliance and ensuring continuous review of regulations. This would eventually help create an ecosystem, which will assist the Government in facilitating ‘Regulatory Impact Assessment’ (RIA) as well. RIA is a systemic approach to critically assessing the positive and negative effects of proposed and existing regulations. The implementation of regulatory impact assessment would enable data intelligent policymaking, a move towards flexible ‘outcome-oriented’ regulation, and justifiable implementation of regulations through cost benefit analysis.



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Courtesy: Yojana