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

The government declared that the three new criminal laws would take effect on July 1 and replace the country’s colonial-era statutes.

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

The three laws were approved by Parliament, and President Droupadi Murmu gave her consent 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.

Twenty additional offenses are included in the Nyay Sanhita, including organized crime, terrorist acts, mob lynchings, hit-and-runs, sexual exploitation of women through dishonest means, snatching, aiding and abetting outside of India, actions that jeopardize India’s sovereignty, integrity, and unity, and the dissemination 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Sedition law has been repealed and replaced with a new section that criminalises acts that endanger the sovereignty, unity, and integrity of India.

The Government has honoured its commitment to All India Motor Transport Congress and truck drivers and has refrained from implementing the contentious clause 106(2) of the Bhartiya Nyaya Sanhita 2023, which proposed stricter punishments in the new law on hit-and-run cases.er the new laws

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