Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Union govt to implement 3 new criminal laws from July 1

The union government on Saturday declared that the three criminal law amendments that will completely alter the country’s criminal justice system will come into force from July 1.

A gazette notification issued on Friday said that the newly introduced Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam will replace the IPC (Indian Penal Code), the Indian Evidence Act and the CrPC (Code of Criminal Procedure).

The new bills were passed by Parliament in the Winter Session. President Droupadi Murmu gave her consent to the legislation on December 25.

Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that new criminal laws should be implemented, with a special stress on all Union Territories (UTs).

The union government has also decided to create a force of 3,000 officers to train police, investigators, and forensic experts under the new laws across different zones in the country.

“The focus of the training will be on forensic evidence. There will be a model set-up in Chandigarh to ensure a full-proof online mechanism as most of the records would be digital,” a source told the Indian Express.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla had a meeting with chief secretaries, advisors to Administrators, and all the police chiefs of UTs to assess their preparations, last month.

They were directed to immediately raise issues that they faced in the implementation of the new laws to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

This makes it clear that the BJP government is in a haste to operationalise the laws in UTs.

However, the new penal provision in hit-and-run cases has been put on hold.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of section 1 of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023 (45 of 2023), the Central Government hereby appoints July 1, 2024, as the date on which the provisions of the said Sanhita, except the provision of sub-section (2) of section 106, shall come into force,” the notification read.

This is said to be in reaction to the protests staged by transport associations all over the country against a provision under the new code, which will punish any driver who flees the spot after causing the death of a person by negligent driving, with imprisonment for up to 10 years and/or penalty.

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