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New Criminal Laws Replacing Penal Code to Take Effect From July 1

February 24, 2024
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New Delhi: The three new criminal laws will come into effect from July 1 and replace the country’s colonial-era legislations, the government announced on Saturday.

The Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita, and the Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill will replace the Indian Penal Code of 1860, Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) of 1973, and Indian Evidence Act, of 1872.

The three laws were cleared by the Parliament and President Droupadi Murmu gave her assent to those last December.

The new legislations lay “emphasis on Indianness, the Indian Constitution and the well-being of the people,” Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said while introducing those last year in the Parliament. The new laws encourage the use of technology and gives more importance to forensic science in investigation, prosecution, and judicial system, he said.

Mr Shah had asserted the Indian criminal justice system will become the most advanced in the world in five years once all systems under the three laws are in place.

The BNS, set to replace the IPC, has reformed major aspects of criminal laws in view of the changing times, including ‘community service’ as punishment for minor thefts and adding transgenders in the definition of gender.

The Nyay Sanhita also includes 20 new offences like organised crime, terrorist acts, mob lynching, hit-and-run, sexual exploitation of a woman by deceitful means, snatching, abetment outside India, acts endangering the sovereignty, integrity, and unity of India, and publication of false or fake news.

The new laws will widen the ambit of what constitutes terrorism and provide the provision of death penalty for mob lynching and rape of minors. Adultery, homosexual sex, and suicide attempts will no longer be considered a crimes under the new laws.

Sedition law has been repealed and replaced with a new section that criminalises acts that endanger the sovereignty, unity, and integrity of India.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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