Parliamentary Panel Greenlights Bills To Change India's Criminal Laws

New Delhi:
Three bills to overhaul the criminal justice system in India, that were under review, has been adopted by the Parliamentary Committee of Home affairs by an overwhelming majority despite dissent notes from the 10 Opposition members in the panel.

Here are top 10 points on this big story:

  1. The Opposition members, including Congress’s P Chidambaram and DMK’s Dayanidhi Maran had objected to multiple issues including the Hindi names for the rulebooks that would replace the Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure and the Indian Evidence Act.

  2. The government has however justified it, saying to satisfy the constitutional requirements under Article 348, the Hindi names will be written in English.

  3. Besides the controversy over names, the Opposition members had also objected to other provisions of the proposed laws. Among others, these include the continuation of the death sentence. The Opposition members have been given two days to submit their dissent in writing.

  4. The report will be placed before parliament once the winter session begins.

  5. The Centre had constituted a Criminal Law Reforms Committee in March 2020 to make suggestions to revise IPC, CrPC and the Indian Evidence Act 1872. The idea was to update the British-era laws for the present day and expedite trials to finish them in three years.

  6. The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill, 2023, the Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, 2023 and the Bharatiya Nagrik Suraksha Sanhita Bill, 2023 will replace the Indian Penal Code, 1860, the Indian Evidence Act, 1972 and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

  7. The proposed laws have provisions for stricter punishment for crimes against women and children, including death penalty for rape of minors.

  8. It also plans to formalise community service as punishment for petty crimes and increase the period of police custody to upto 60 days.

  9. The proposed laws also aim to decongest jails by releasing convicts who served half their sentences, fixes accountability of police officers for arrests, suggest videographing of raids and allows a magistrate to go to a victim’s home to record statement.

  10. The colonial-era sedition law will be replaced with Section 150 of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, which deals with “acts endangering sovereignty, unity and integrity of India”. The punishment for sedition be increased from three years in jail to a life term or up to seven years in prison.


By Admin

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