India’s new criminal codes: The Hindu’s detailed coverage

The three new penal laws that completely overhaul the existing criminal justice system are set to come into effect from July 1. Here is The Hindu’s comprehensive coverage of the contentious laws.

Updated - July 01, 2024 11:13 pm IST

Published - June 30, 2024 05:49 pm IST

File.

File. | Photo Credit: Reuters

The three new criminal laws, that were passed by Parliament in 2023, will come into effect from July 1, 2024. The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS), and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA) that will replace the colonial-era Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC), the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC), and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (IEA), respectively, received President Droupadi Murmu’s assent on December 25, 2023.

Also Read:With dummy FIRs and pocket guides, police get ready to switch to new criminal laws

Legal experts and jurists have however questioned the lack of transparency in the functioning of the five-member expert committee constituted by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to draft these laws. They have also flagged how the new penal provisions confer expanded police powers and dilute civil liberties. For instance, a significant failure lies in not clarifying whether the new criminal procedure allows police custody beyond the 15-day limit, or if it is just a provision that allows the 15-day period to spread across any days within the first 40 or 60 days of a person’s arrest. 

Read the new criminal laws here.

Meanwhile, a petition has been moved in the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the implementation of the new laws highlighting that they were passed without detailed debate or effective discussion in the Parliament as a large number of Members from the Opposition were suspended.

Here is an incisive coverage of the new laws and in-depth analysis of the concerns surrounding them.

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