Published On: Wed, Dec 20th, 2023

‘Focusses on justice rather than punishment’: Amit Shah

New Delhi: While discussing the three new criminal law bills in Lok Sabha, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said in the proposed laws, there will be a provision for the death penalty for the crime of mob lynching.

There was no time limit for plea bargaining earlier

Notably, the Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita Bill, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita Bill and the Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill were passed in Lok Sabha today.

Shah also announced that the Centre has decided to do away with the sedition law, as he cited how the British had used it to put Indian freedom fighters in jail.

“The sedition law made by the British, under which Tilak Maharaj, Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, and many of our freedom fighters remained in jail for years and that law continues till date. For the first time, the Modi government has decided to completely abolish the sedition law,” he said while speaking in the Lok Sabha.

Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, which will replace the Indian Penal Code, focusses on justice rather than punishment, Amit Shah stated.

The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill, 2023, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita Bill, 2023, and the Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, 2023 were first introduced in Parliament during the Monsoon Session. Shah tabled the amended versions of the bills during the Winter Session.

Shah also said the proposed laws will bring a system to strengthen police accountability. Details about arrested individuals must now be recorded at every police station, and a designated police officer will be responsible for maintaining these records, Shah added.

While speaking about the provisions in the new criminal bills, Shah said that the government has made trafficking laws gender-neutral.

In addition to this, the Union Home Minister said that the rape of a girl under 18 years of age would automatically attract POCSO equivalent provisions under the new laws.

Amit Shah also said that the new laws will include a definition of terrorism. While speaking about the same, he said, “Till now there was no definition of terrorism in any law. For the first time now, the Modi government is going to explain terrorism. So that no one can take advantage of its lack.”

While discussing hit-and-run cases, Shah said, “Accidental death and death due to negligence have been redefined— if the person runs over someone with a car by accident– if the driver takes the victim to the hospital, they will face lighter punishment, but a hit-and-run case will get higher punishment.”

In order to ensure timely hearing of cases, Shah said in the proposed laws, the accused will get seven days to a plea for acquittal. The judge has to hold the hearing in those seven days and in a maximum time of 120 days, the case will come to trial.

He added, “There was no time limit for plea bargaining earlier. Now, if one accepts their crime within 30 days of the crime, then the punishment would be less. There was no provision to present documents during trials. We have made it compulsory to produce all documents within 30 days. No delays will be made in that.”

In regard to registration of cases, Shah said, under the proposed laws, after a person files a complaint, an FIR will have to be registered within three days or a maximum of 14 days.

“In cases punishable with punishment ranging from three to seven years, the preliminary investigation will have to be completed within 14 days. That means an FIR will have to be filed within a maximum of 14 days or three days in cases of shorter punishment,” the Union Home Minister said.

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