Published On: Wed, Dec 20th, 2023

LS passes 3 criminal law bills aiming to overhaul criminal justice system

New Delhi: The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed three revised criminal law bills aiming to overhaul the criminal justice system in the country and establish a “justice system based on Indian thinking”.

The three proposed laws scrapped sedition as a crime

The bills Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita proposes to replace the Indian Penal Code, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita seeks to replace the Code of Criminal Procedure, and Bharatiya Sakshya Sanhita replaces the Indian Evidence Act.

The contentious bills were passed by the Lower House in the absence of 97 MPs, who were suspended this week.

Introducing the Bills in Lok Sabha, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the existing criminal laws were reflective of the colonial mindset with the intention of punishing and not imparting justice.

“The motive of the Indian Penal Code was to give punishment, not justice; in place of that Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita, 2023 will come into effect in the country after the passage from the House,” Amit Shah said.

The Home Minister added that new criminal law bills are in “consonance with the spirit of the Constitution”.

“The three new bills seek to establish a justice system based on Indian thinking… The three proposed criminal laws will free people from the colonial mindset and its symbols,” Shah said, before the Lok Sabha passed the bills by voice vote.

He added, “For poor, the biggest challenge to get justice is the financial challenge…For years ‘Tareekh pe tareekh’ keep going. Police hold the judicial system responsible. The government holds the police and judiciary responsible. The police and judiciary hold the government responsible for the delay. Now, we have made many things clear in the new laws”.

The three proposed laws scrapped sedition as a crime and introduced a new section titled “offences against the state”, the Home Minister told the House. Also, it has a “clear definition” of terrorism, he added. This bill also punishes mob lynching with the death penalty.

The bills were initially introduced in the Lok Sabha during the Monsoon Session of Parliament but were later withdrawn. Amit Shah reintroduced the revised bills in the Lok Sabha last week.

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