Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday introduced three bills in the Lok Sabha that will abolish three British-era criminal laws and replace them with new laws that are more in line with the Constitution of India.
India Abolishes British-Era Criminal Laws, Introduces New Bills to Protect Constitutional Rights. The bills are:
- The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill, 2023, which will replace the Indian Penal Code (IPC)
- The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita Bill, 2023, which will replace the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC)
- The Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, 2023, which will replace the Indian Evidence Act
In his introductory speech, Shah said that the three bills are a fulfillment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise to end all signs of slavery. He said that the British-era laws that are currently in place were made to strengthen and protect British rule, and their purpose was to punish, not to give justice.
Amit Shah said that the three new bills will have a soul that protects the rights given to citizens by the Constitution. He said that the objective of the new laws will be to give justice, not to punish, and that punishment will only be given where it is necessary to create a sense of prevention of crime.
Amit Shah also said that the new bills will place heinous crimes like murder and crimes against women at the top of the priority list. He said that this is a change in approach that will put the citizen at the center of the criminal justice system.
Amit Shah said that a long consultative process has been followed in making the three bills. He said that PM Modi had said in 2019 that all the laws made during the British time should be made in accordance with the present time and in the interest of the Indian society after adequate discussion and consideration.
Amit Shah said that the three bills have been discussed in depth with 18 states, six Union Territories, a Supreme Court, 16 High Courts, five judicial academies, 22 Law Universities, 142 Members of Parliament, about 270 MLAs, and people from all walks of life. He said that he himself was present in 158 meetings to discuss the bills.
The Home Minister said that the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita Bill, which will replace the CrPC, will now have 533 sections. He said that a total of 160 sections have been changed, nine new sections have been added, and nine sections have been repealed.
The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill, which will replace the IPC, will have 356 sections instead of the earlier 511 sections. Shah said that 175 sections have been amended, 8 new sections have been added and 22 sections have been repealed.
Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, which will replace the Evidence Act, will now have 170 sections instead of the earlier 167. Shah said 23 sections have been changed, one new section has been added and five repealed.
Shah said that the three bills will be passed in the coming session of Parliament and will come into force soon after. He said that the new laws will usher in a new era of justice for the citizens of India.
The introduction of these new bills is a significant step towards reforming India’s criminal justice system. The new laws will be more in line with the Constitution of India and will focus on giving justice to victims, rather than punishing criminals. This is a welcome development and it is hoped that the new laws will be effective in reducing crime and protecting the rights of citizens.
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