Central Government Proposes 3 New Bills to Replace CRPC, IPC, and Evidence Act
Indian administration is suggesting a notable transformation of the legal structure through the introduction of three fresh bills, aimed at supplanting the current laws.
The Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, and the Indian Evidence Act, originally formulated during the British colonial era in the nineteenth century, are set to be substituted by the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023; Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023; and Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, 2023.
Presented by Home Minister
These bills were introduced by Home Minister Amit Shah in the Lok Sabha, which is the lower house of India’s Parliament.
It is noteworthy that the Home Minister himself presented these bills, underlining their importance and government commitment to the reforms.
The bills were not initially part of the scheduled list for introduction.
Instead, they were added through a supplementary list, indicating their significance and the government’s intent to bring about these changes.
Replacing British-Era Laws
The bills aim to replace the British-era legal frameworks that have been in place since the nineteenth century.
Specifically, these new bills are designed to replace the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, and the Indian Evidence Act.
The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023, will take the place of the Indian Penal Code.
The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023, is intended to replace the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, of 2023, is designed to replace the Indian Evidence Act.
Aim of Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill
The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill focuses on simplifying the rules and provisions related to offences and penalties.
A notable addition is the introduction of community service as a punishment for minor offences, reflecting a more modern approach to corrections.
The bill prioritizes addressing offenses against women, children, murder, and those related to the State.
This reflects a commitment to addressing crimes that have significant social and national implications.
The bill also takes a step toward gender neutrality by making various offenses applicable to all genders equally.
New Offences & Punishments
The bill introduces new offences related to organized crimes, terrorism, secession, armed rebellion, subversive activities, separatist actions, and threats to India’s sovereignty, unity, and integrity.
It also proposes increased fines and more severe punishments for various offenses.
Aim of Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita
This bill aims to integrate technology and contemporary methodologies into criminal investigations and legal procedures.
It replaces the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and introduces technology and forensic sciences for crime investigations.
The bill establishes specific timeframes for conducting investigations, holding trials, and delivering verdicts, thereby enhancing the overall efficiency of the legal process.
Emphasis on Victim-Centric Approach
The bill is centered around a victim-centric approach, prioritizing the needs and rights of victims in the criminal justice system.
It ensures that victims are kept informed about the progress of their cases through digital communication channels.
Furthermore, the bill mandates the provision of a copy of the first information report (FIR) to victims, granting them access to crucial case details.
Summary Trials and Electronic Examination
The bill introduces the practice of summary trials for minor cases, expediting the legal proceedings for less serious offenses.
Additionally, the bill embraces modern communication technologies, permitting accused individuals to be examined via electronic means, such as video conferencing.
Aim of Bharatiya Sakshya Bill
Replaces Indian Evidence Act and makes electronic or digital records as admissible evidence with the same legal validity as paper records.
Repealing Sedition (124A)
The change introduced by Amit Shah repeals Section 124A of IPC, which pertains to sedition.
The minister emphasizes the right to freedom of speech and the complete repeal of sedition.
The new IPC bill contains sections from 145 to 156 that deal with offenses against the state.
It includes acts such as waging war against the Government of India, conspiracy to commit offenses, collecting arms for waging war, concealing intent to facilitate war, and assaulting high-ranking officials with the intention to compel or restrain lawful power.
The bill that has been introduced enforces consequences for acts that endanger India’s sovereignty, unity, and integrity, as well as for receiving property obtained through war or destructive actions.
Strong punishments are established for public servants aiding prisoners of state or war to escape.
Various scenarios related to allowing, suffering, aiding, rescuing, or harboring prisoners are covered under the new bill.
Crimes against the state carry punishments from three to ten years.
New Clause on Secession and Rebellion
A new clause is added to address acts of secession, armed rebellion, subversive activities, separatist activities, or endangering India’s sovereignty, unity, and integrity.
Fines and punishments for various offenses are enhanced.
Indian legal system is undergoing a significant transformation with the introduction of three new bills. These bills, proposed by Home Minister Amit Shah, aim to replace outdated laws and bring the legal framework up to date. The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill addresses a wide range of offenses, introduces community service as a penalty, and strengthens measures against organized crime and terrorism. The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita Bill emphasizes technology in investigations, establishes timelines, and ensures victim-centric communication.
The Bharatiya Sakshya Bill recognizes electronic evidence’s validity, aligning with the digital era. The move to repeal the sedition law demonstrates a commitment to free expression. Together, these bills mark a comprehensive effort to modernize India’s legal system for greater efficiency, fairness, and adaptability.