Parliament Winter Session Day 14 updates | Parliament passes criminal law bills

Lok Sabha adjourns sine die a day ahead of schedule; The Lower House also suspends three more Congress MPs as the total number of suspensions rises to 146.

Updated - December 21, 2023 09:05 pm IST

Published - December 21, 2023 11:05 am IST

Union Home Minister Amit Shah replies to the discussion on the bills to replace criminal laws. Photo: Screenshot from Sansad TV

Union Home Minister Amit Shah replies to the discussion on the bills to replace criminal laws. Photo: Screenshot from Sansad TV

Lok Sabha adjourned sine die, a day ahead of schedule, after passing the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023. Rajya Sabha had already passed the Bill on December 12. The House also passed the Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill, 2023 via voice vote.

Meanwhile, three more Congress MPs Nakul Nath, Deepak Baij and D.K Suresh were suspended from the Lower House for misconduct. With this, the total number of members suspended from the Lower House rises to 146.

Also read: Lok Sabha passes Bills to replace British-era criminal laws

In the Rajya Sabha The Telecommunications Bill, 2023 was passed. The Upper House then took up the three criminal law Bills for discussion. The bills were then passed via voice vote. On December 20, the Lok Sabha passed the three amended Bills that seek to repeal and replace criminal laws and the omnibus Telecom Bill 2023 which will replace existing laws, including the 138-year-old Indian Telegraph Act.

Earlier in the day, Lok Sabha resumed proceedings with Opposition members continuing their protest. Members were heard chanting, “tanashahi nahi chalegi [dictatorship will not work],” in the House even as the Question Hour continued.

Also read: Parliament Winter Session Day 13 Updates

The Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita Bill (BNSS) will replace the Indian Penal Code, 1860; the Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill (BSS) will replace the Indian Evidence Act, 1872; and the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita Bill (BNSSS) will replace the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898. This criminal law reform brings terrorism offences into a general crime law for the first time, drops the crime of sedition, and makes mob lynching punishable by death.

Follow the live updates here:
  • December 21, 2023 21:01
    Rajya Sabha adjourns sine die
  • December 21, 2023 20:20
    Rajya Sabha passes bills on criminal laws

    The Upper House passes the bills to overhaul the criminal laws: Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita Bill (BNSS) will replace the Indian Penal Code, 1860; the Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill (BSS) will replace the Indian Evidence Act, 1872; and the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita Bill (BNSSS).

  • December 21, 2023 19:14
    Amit Shah replies to discussion on criminal laws bills

    Union Home Minister, replying to the discussion on the bills to replace the criminal laws in the Rajya Sabha, says that the new laws aim to provide justice and not mere punishment.

    Addressing questions about the need for the new laws, Mr. Shah says, “those people don’t even know the meaning of s waraj (self rule)”. He says the new laws will help deliver speedy justice to the poor.

  • December 21, 2023 18:16
    Access to justice simplified in new bills: Amar Patnaik

    BJD MP Amar Patnaik says that the new bill to overhaul criminal laws has simplified the access to justice and the affordability of justice system. Highlighting the features of the bill, he appreciates the introduction of community service as a punishment in the new bill.

  • December 21, 2023 18:08
    Protecting women’s right first priority for BJP government: K. Laxman

    BJP MP K. Laxman says the government under PM Modi always stands for women’s rights, highlighting the features of the new bill. “Live-in relationships have become threat to harmonious society in the name of liberty, causing harm to the social fabric. Another thing is love jihad. Innocent Hindu girls are trapped in the name of love jihad,” he says and claims that the new Act will deal “effectively with an iron hand” on such issues. The new law will also make the judicial process “time-bound”, he says. 

  • December 21, 2023 17:19
    G.K. Vasan, Biplab Kumar Deb support criminal laws bill

    The debate on the bill to replace criminal laws continues in the Upper House and Tamil Maanila Congress’ G.K. Vasan says that the bill comes at an “appropriate time” in the interest of the people.

    He says that the new laws will be a significant shift from the current “colonial laws” to a “more unified, equitable and responsive legal framework that aligns the current concerns and growing social standards”. He also says that the new laws are sensitive to the challenges of the day such as “terrorism, mob lynching and cybercrimes”.

    BJP’s Biplab Kumar Deb says that the bill was a shift from colonial laws and thanks the Centre for making laws for the common people of the country. He says that the laws have been made in the interest of the country. 

  • December 21, 2023 17:01
    TDP MP says criminal laws bill reflects ‘holistic approach’ to criminal reforms in India

    Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MP Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar says that the three new legislations reflect a “holistic approach” to reforming the criminal justice system in India. “By embedding transparency, accountability, efficiency and modernisation into the provisions, these laws pave the way for just, responsive and contemporary legal landscape that can better meet the needs of the Indian society,” he says. 

    He also praises the “large emphasis” on the use of digital technologies in the criminal judicial systems. He welcomes the introduction of community services as punishment but points out that the ambit of community service should be determined.

  • December 21, 2023 16:42
    Decolonisation one of PM Modi’s top priorities: Rakesh Sinha

    BJP’s Rakesh Sinha, speaking on the debate on the criminal laws in Rajya Sabha, says decolonisation has been one of PM Modi’s top priorities. 

    “Narendra Modi is the only PM in independent India, who brought in ideological, societal and cultural independence. He made it one of the prime priorities of his governance. Decolonisation is something that the world is also seeking. PM Modi has been able to establish that if the country is to progress it must detach itself from the colonial landscape,” he says.

  • December 21, 2023 16:32
    AIADMK’s Thambidurai demands Madras High Court be renamed Tamil Nadu High Court

    AIADMK MP Thambidurai, speaking in the Rajya Sabha during the debate on the three criminal laws, says that Tamil language should be used in courts in Tamil Nadu. He reiterates demand for renaming Madras High Court to Tamil Nadu High Court.

    Regarding the criminal bills, he says that the age of criminal responsibilities is retained at seven years and extended up to 12 years, “depending on the maturity of the accused”.

    “This age is lower than the age of criminal responsibilities in other countries,” he says.

    He also says that the recommendations of Justice Verma Committee on gender-neutrality have not been considered. 

  • December 21, 2023 16:14
    Lok Sabha adjourned sine die

    Bringing an end to the Winter session of the Lower House, Lok Sabha has been adjourned sine die by Speaker Om Birla

  • December 21, 2023 16:11
    Lok Sabha passes Press and Periodicals Bill, 2023

    Answering queries on the Bill, Mr.Thakur says, “India has never has higher press freedoms as much as it has now since Independence. This Bill is pro-woman, ease of access and is much needed for today. This will help in establishing a developed India”. 

    The Press and Periodicals Bill, 2023 has been passed via voice vote with Prime Minister Narendra Modi present in the House. 

  • December 21, 2023 15:51
    ‘We are breaking away from colonial mindset’: Thakur

    Listing the features of the Bill, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur says, “Those who are facing terror charges will not be allowed to run a newspaper. Why oppose this? An online process has been established to set up printing press. We are providing opportunities and not keeping people stuck in bureaucratic process”. 

    The Lower House is debating the Press and Periodicals Bill, 2023.

    As this bill repeals the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867, he says, “It is the Modi government’s intention to break way from colonial mentality”. He reiterates the same by highlighting the new criminal laws which focus on justice rather than punishment.

    Allaying fears of curbs on press freedom, he says, “It was the Indira Gandhi government which imposed an Emergency and trampled on free press. We are giving opportunities to new people to set up a publication easily online”.

  • December 21, 2023 15:16
    Nakul Nath, Deepak Baij, D.K Suresh suspended

    Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi moves to suspend Congress MPs Nakul Nath, Deepak Baij, D.K Suresh for misconduct and storming the Well in the Lower House. The suspension passes via voice vote. 

    BJP MP Rama Devi is in the Chair

  • December 21, 2023 15:01
    Telecommunications Bill passed with no Oppn MPs participating in debate

    The Telecommunications Bill was passed in the RajyaSabha after a debate lasting one hour 10 minutes only, during which, other than the Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw himself, only seven MPs spoke.

    No Opposition MP participated in the debate.

  • December 21, 2023 14:38
    Telecom towers increased from 6 lakh to 25 lakh in past nine years: Vaishnaw

    Replying to the debate, Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said the Telecommunications Bill 2023 is being brought keeping in mind the aspirations of the new India to replace two colonial-era laws.

    “In the last nine-and-half-years, India’s telecom sector has emerged from a very difficult period marred by scams to become a sunrise sector,” the minister asserted.

    He also said during the same period, the number of telecom towers has increased to 25 lakh at present from just 6 lakh in 2014 and the number of internet broadband users has increased to 85 crore today from just 1.5 crore before. - PTI

  • December 21, 2023 14:37
    Lok Sabha: AIMIM’s Syed Imtiaz Jaleel questions Minister Anurag Thakur if he has consulted with the professionals who will be affected by the the Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill

    You mentioned that you have discussed the Bill with States, but what did professionals say about it, Mr. Jaleel asks.

    The MP also points out that the Editors’ Guild of India has expressed concern over the “draconian provisions of the Bill, that can have an adverse impact on the freedom of the press”.

  • December 21, 2023 14:14
    Telecom Bill passed in Rajya Sabha

    The Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed the Telecommunications Bill, 2023 to replace the Indian Telegraph Act of 1885, the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act of 1933 and the Telegraph Wires (Unlawful Possession) Act of 1950.

    The Telecommunications Bill, 2023, was approved by the Rajya Sabha through a voice vote. It was passed by the Lok Sabha on Wednesday after a short debate.

    The bill aims to amend and consolidate the law relating to development, expansion and operation of telecommunication services and telecommunication networks, assignment of spectrum and connected matters.

  • December 21, 2023 13:50
    Lok Sabha: Minister Anurag Thakur introduces the Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill, 2023 for consideration and passing

    According to Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur, the Bill will replace an 1867 law brought by the colonial rulers for centralising powers. The new Bill will decriminalise certain provisions in the old law and will help in ease of doing business, he says.

  • December 21, 2023 13:41
    Lok Sabha passes the Election Commissioners’ Bill

    The Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023 has been passed through a voice vote.

  • December 21, 2023 12:57
    Lok Sabha: AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi opposes the Election Commissioners’ Bill

    The Bill is biased and the government is bringing it to ensure that the independence of the Election Commission of India (ECI) is finished forever, he says.

    “If voters start feeling that the ECI is not an impartial and non-partisan body, the legitimacy of our democracy comes into question.”

  • December 21, 2023 12:48
    Lok Sabha: BJP MP Sanjay Seth begins his speech with a song

    Speaking on the Election Commissioners Bill, Mr. Seth calls on Opposition members to witness “historical developments in the era of Amrit kaal”. “Don’t be a disruptor and you too shall reap the benefits,” he says, addressing the Opposition.

    Mr. Seth also points to the Opposition benches and says that most of these seats are empty right now, and that the entire Opposition will be gone in 2024 [alluding to the Lok Sabha elections].

  • December 21, 2023 12:38
    Twelve Bills pushed in last two days in absence of most Opposition MPs

    In last two days, 12 Bills were pushed through both Houses in the absence of the majority of Opposition members from INDIA bloc parties.

    List of Bills to be taken up today:

    The Chief Election Commissioner Bill and the Press and Periodicals Bill are listed for discussion and passing in Lok Sabha.

    The 3 Criminal Law Bills and the Telecom Bill are listed in Rajya Sabha. 

  • December 21, 2023 12:29
    Question hour underway in Upper House

    Question Hour is underway in Rajya Sabha as the Parliament reconvened for the 14th day of the ongoing Winter Session on Thursday. The Upper House is set to take up three criminal law Bills for consideration and passing. The House will also take up the Telecommunications Bill 2023 later today.

  • December 21, 2023 12:19
    Lok Sabha takes up The Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023 for consideration and passing

    The Bill was passed by Rajya Sabha on December 12.

    Once approved, the Bill will provide for the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and other Election Commissioners (EC) by the President on the recommendation of a selection committee consisting of the Prime Minister, the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and a Union Cabinet Minister to be nominated by the Prime Minister. For the first time, the Parliament is proposing a structured mechanism for the identification of suitable persons for the post of CEC and EC. However, this Bill removes the CJI from the selection process.

    Read more here: On selecting Election Commissioners | Explained

  • December 21, 2023 12:04
    Lok Sabha: Speaker calls out Opposition members for protesting in the House

    Speaker Om Birla warns MPs D.K. Suresh, Deepak Baij, and Nakul Nath and asks them to refrain from disrupting House proceedings by throwing papers at the staff.

    Members are laying papers on the Table.

  • December 21, 2023 11:48
    Lok Sabha: Minister Hardeep Singh Puri answers questions related to civic amenities in slums

    Opposition members continue to protest as Speaker Om Birla oversees Question Hour proceedings.

  • December 21, 2023 11:33
    Govt. does not want House to function: Kharge

    “We wanted to raise Parliament security breach issue, why it happened and who is responsible,” said Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday.

    “The government does not want House to function; RS chairman brought casteism in Parliament by raising an issue,” said Mr. Kharge.

  • December 21, 2023 11:22
    Criminal law bills to be discussed in RS today

    The Parliament reconvened for the 14th day of the ongoing Winter Session on Thursday.

    The three Bills to replace the colonial-era criminal laws, which were passed by the Upper House on Wednesday, will be tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday for discussion and passage.

  • December 21, 2023 11:05
    Question Hour begins in Lok Sabha

    Opposition MPs resume protests in the House.

  • December 21, 2023 11:04
    Lok Sabha proceedings begin

    Speaker Om Birla begins the day by expressing condolences on the death of two former members of the House. MPs observe silence.

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